Thousands of children among those facing starvation in Kilifi

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Kilifi, KENYA: Thousands of children in Kilifi County are among the people facing starvation following a prolonged drought.

The county has been facing severe drought over the years leading to hunger dating back to independence.

Reports show that the stunting levels stand at 39 percent in Kilifi County, and it is third Countrywide after West Pokot and Kitui.

For a long time now the national government has failed to invest in food security measures in the county to eradicate hunger by use of modern mechanization in agriculture.

This has led residents in the semi-desert areas of the county such as Ganze, Kaloleni, Magarini and parts of Malindi to depend on relief food year in year out.

As a result, the numbers of stunting and malnutrition in the County have been hiking to levels of disarray.

In an interview on Friday in his office with Baraka Fm, Kilifi County Commissioner Magu Mutundika said the current and anticipated situation is bad.

He said hundreds of thousands of residents are facing starvation in the hands of hunger.

“Kilifi County is one of those Counties affected most by the ongoing drought and hunger,” Mutundika said.

“As a result, atleast 300 hundred people have and will be affected by the situation. The sub counties involved are Malindi in Chakama and Langobaya, Magarini, Ganze, Kaloleni and Rabai,” he added.

In terms of mitigations and interventions, he said the national government has already considered the situation and equipped itself with relief food.

He said they have already received rice from China and anytime soon it will be distributed to the needy people and areas of the County.

“We have already received like fifty thousand bags of rice from China as relief food and it’s in our cereals board in Mombasa,” Mutundika added.

“Maize and beans are on the way coming and we anticipate that every sub-county will receive one thousand bags of maize, five hundred bags of beans and several litres of cooking. I want to assure all residents of Kilifi that no one will die of hunger,” he added.

However, Kilifi County department of Disaster Management said it has set aside Kshs. 25 million for the intervention of in case a disaster erupts.

Adan Mohamed, Chief Officer in charge of the department said the money would buy food for the people of Kilifi County.

“We are prepared for the situation we are experiencing now,” Mohamed said.

“We will distribute food to the needy areas and ensure that no one from Kilifi suffers from hunger,” he added.

It is feared that the situation might even worsen due to the increasing temperatures that ought to hinder farming activities in the County should no proper measures be taken in time.

The metrological department recently warned that come 2030, Kilifi County would be too hot for food production.

It is anticipated that the levels of rainfall will drop drastically and temperatures continue to shoot high.

According to Ramadhan Munga, Metrological director in Kilifi County, all stakeholders must join hands to counter the situation.

“If no proper measures are put in place then by 2030 this County will be too hot for food production,” he said.

“This is due to climate change and the government must sensitize the public on the best farming practice to sustain the situation,” he added.

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