Lamu residents hit with famine receive relief food from government

Kwale County Commissioner Kutswa Olaka said out of four Sub Counties, the most affected ones are Kinango and Lunga Lunga.

By Farouk Mwabege

The government has launched a relief food program which is expected to benefit over 300, 000 residents of Kwale County.

This came following the effects of low rainfall patterns which were experienced during the months of March, April and May forcing the residents to stare at hunger and starvation.

Speaking during the launch at Kombani area in Matuga Sub County on Tuesday, Ministry of Devolution, Planning and Special Programmes Principal Secretary Josepheta Mukobe termed the situation as unfortunate.

She urged the residents to change their planting methods by considering drought resistant crops like cassava, sorghum and wheat in order to avoid incurring any loses in future.

“I understand that you like maize, beans and rice but when the rains stop, they get spoilt so fast therefore we are supposed to mix the crops,” she said.

At the same time Ms Mukobe urged the residents to stop depending on rainfall and instead ask the county leadership to initiate water projects that can enable them irrigate their farms.

“I came here with a little amount of food but next time when I come back I want you people to be the ones to give me food to take to Nairobi,” she said.

The ministry allocated 750 kilogrammes of beans, 750kg of rice and 50 cartons of cooking oil which will equally be distributed in Matuga, Kinango, Msambweni and Lunga Lunga Sub Counties.

According to the PS said for the last four months the government has distributed 900 bags of maize, 9450 bags of beans, 5050 bags of rice and 1825 litres of oil in the entire coast region.

Kwale Woman Representative Zainab Chidzuga expressed gratitude to the ministry saying the program is a clear indication that the government is having the people of Kwale at heart.

“The national government is really caring about us and that is why I have decided to work with it after realizing that it does not pay anything to be in opposition,” he said.

Kwale County Commissioner Kutswa Olaka said out of four Sub Counties, the most affected ones are Kinango and Lunga Lunga.

Mr Olaka said about 160, 000 people in Kinango, 60, 000 in Lunga Lunga, 50, 000 in Matuga and 40, 000 in Msambweni were affected.

“I am so grateful that the government responded so fast when we raised the alarm. It is my hope that the support you have given us will help to contain the situation,” he said.