What you need to know:
- Mr Cheptumo called on the government to declare hunger ravaging many parts of the country a national disaster.
- He said that in Baringo County alone, thousands of people were now facing starvation and were in dire need of relief food
- His remarks come amid claims that seven people had allegedly succumbed to hunger related illnesses in Tiaty Tub-County in the past one month.
- Baringo County Deputy Governor Mathew Tuitoek said that more than 300,000 people are food insecure in the county.
Baringo North MP William Cheptumo has warned of an acute food shortage in 2015 following erratic rainfall patterns this season.
This has led to total crop failure in Kenya’s key North Rift farming areas.
Mr Cheptumo called on the government to declare hunger ravaging many parts of the country a national disaster.
He was speaking at Kabartonjo Primary School at the weekend when he presided over the award of a Sh1.2 million Presidential Bursary Fund to 60 orphaned children and others from needy families in the area.
“The government should put in place measures to deal with the looming food shortage.
Almost all parts of the country including the grain baskets in Rift Valley have been affected by the dry spell. Many farmers had planted their farms but all the crops have withered,” said Mr Cheptumo.
He was accompanied by Baringo North Sub-County Commissioner Mr Joshua Ogango.
Mr Cheptumo said that in Baringo County alone, thousands of people were now facing starvation and were in dire need of relief food following the prolonged dry spell which has also led to the drying up of many rivers and pan dams.
He said that the situation has been worsened in his constituency by rampant cases of insecurity which he said has led to many residents being rendered paupers after all their livestock which was their major source of livelihood were wiped out by armed raiders from a neighbouring community.
Mr Cheptumo’s remarks come amid claims that seven people had allegedly succumbed to hunger related illnesses in Tiaty Tub-County in the past one month.
According to Devolution Principal Secretary John Konchellah, the government has already set aside Sh600 million in emergency funds for purchase of livestock in drought stricken areas of the country to cushion farmers against losses occasioned by the persistent dry spell.
Speaking last week when he toured Baringo County to assess the drought situation, Mr Konchellah said that Baringo County alone has already benefited from 2,500 bags of rice, 3,000 bags of maize, 2,500 bags of beans and 675 cartons of cooking oil.
GIVE EARLY WARNING
“The government is committed to ensuring that nobody dies due to lack of food. We call on county administrators to be giving early warning signs for the government to plan adequately and avert hunger related deaths,” said Mr Konchellah when he addressed a public baraza at Chemolingot.
Baringo County Deputy Governor Mathew Tuitoek said that more than 300,000 people are food insecure in the county.
“The county government is supporting the central government in the distribution of relief food by fueling the vehicles. We are also supplying water to the hunger stricken residents by use of water boozers. Part of the relief food will also be given to schools to retain children in school,” said Mr Tuitoek.
He said that more than Sh100 million of the county’s 2014/2015 budget will be set aside for disaster management.