Looming crisis as thousands in Mbeere stare at hunger

A girl fetching water near Makima market in Mbeere South. Water is scarce in the region. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Currently, the 350 pans, which were dug by the government to cushion families from perennial water shortage have started drying up, raising fears that drought is imminent.

At least 50,000 families living in the arid Mbeere South Constituency in Embu are staring at drought because of rising temperatures which have adversely affected water pans.

Normally, the families use pans to irrigate their farms and draw water for drinking and domestic use.

Currently, the 350 pans, which were dug by the government to cushion families from perennial water shortage have started drying up, raising fears that drought is imminent.

Already water in the pans has reduced by 85 per cent and residents are now a worried lot.

"We are now staring at starvation because the remaining water is not sufficient for irrigation and domestic use," John Runji, a resident, said.

MP Geoffrey King'ang'i said the situation is serious and appealed to the government to start preparing to give relief food to the families.

"There is very little water in the pans and families can't be able to grow vegetables and other crops which they survive on. They have even started fighting over the scarce commodity," added Mr King'ang'i.

He noted that the situation had been worsened by the coronovirus pandemic.

"Most of families lost their businesses following the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic and they have been undergoing untold suffering. They need to be assisted to save their lives," he said.

The MP told the government not to take the matter lightly as the families are now feeling the adverse effects of climate change.