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Central listed among the starving regions

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Many residents of agriculturally rich Central Province have relied on relief food in recent months due to erratic rainfall in parts of the region.

In places where relief food had never been offered, it has become the norm with hundreds of residents, especially in the vast Kieni Division of Nyeri District.

But the onset of the long rains has offered a relief and the region is green again.

Residents hope it will make an impact though some parts of Nyeri, Murang’a and Nyandarua districts have received very low rainfall.

Crops in some areas have withered, leaving farmers with no option but to join the long queues for relief food.

The most affected are Lamuria, Ngobit, Mugunda, Kiawara, Komu, Kienjero, Muthangira and Ruricho.

The situation is not likely to improve soon as the long rains, which started last month, have not been enough for planting in some places.

Residents say although the rains have come, they do not have seeds to plant.

Those who planted on the onset of the rains in March are counting losses as the crops have withered.

Pastor Bernard Muthoga of Komu village in Kieni East says the situation is not likely to improve soon.

He says for the past seven years, residents have relied on relief food due to erratic rainfall. Muthoga appeals to the Government to start irrigation projects.

"The Ewaso Nyiro River passes through the area and the Government should start an irrigation project to support farming," he says.

Most livestock have died, forcing the once thriving dairy co-operative societies to collapse.

Ms Regina Wangui, a resident of Kienjero, says most locals rely on weeds that have sprung after the short rains to feed their families.

Nyeri North DC Francis Komen has promised more relief food to hungry residents. He said the last relief food consignment was distributed last month, and 1,000 bags of maize will be given out next week.

"We are aware of the situation and the Government will continue providing food until residents are self-reliant," he said.

In 21st century and the country Like Kenya is still wallowing in food in security, I wonder who will rescue us and to worsen things it is happening in Central Kenya, The most civilized region, I think it is time we really stop waiting for hand outs and natural rains but embark on Irrigation farming which will ensure enough food supply through out the year!

Comments

Sharese's picture

wow...

Thank you for keeping us abreast of this situation! I look forward to reading more about your country and experiences. Keep up the good work- journalism and exploration of the "why" that these issues are happenening and the "what" we can do to improve our situation.

Much Peace on your journey,

Sharese

JaniceW's picture

Irrigation farming

Jambo Oscar,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on irrigation farming. From what you say, it seems that this is indeed a good solution for rural areas of Kenya as unlike seasonal farming that depends on rainfall, irrigated farming uses a variety of sources of water such as wells, boreholes and nearby streams. Water is the very essence of economic development and can quickly elevate households out of poverty that can result from erratic seasonal rainfall. This way, farmers can grow crops even in the dry season and can produce additional harvests.

You might like to look into the Sasakawa Africa Association which looks into ways to raise the productivity of African farmers. They work with governments to encourage sustainable development and equitable and responsible use of resources by promoting food self-reliance, and improving health and the environment. You can find out more about their programs at:
http://www.saa-tokyo.org/english/sg2000/

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about irrigation farming and I look forward to reading more from you about solutions to elevate the circumstances of the people in Kenya. Salamu za upendo,
Janice

Oscar Toili's picture

Thank you

I would like to thank Sharese and Janice for your posts. It keeps me going.

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