BY SHABAN MWAJABE
The number of people facing starvation is estimated to reach between 80,000 and 100,000 by August if the rains fail to come any time soon in Kwale County.
In a recent visit there, the Devolution cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa said about 70,000 residents were affected by the ongoing famine in some parts of Matuga, Lunga Lunga and Kinango subcounties.
Addressing the media outside his Kwale office, the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) drought coordinator Roman Shera said drought and hunger situation is worsening spreading to other sub-counties apart from the initial hit Lunga Lunga and Kinango.
He expressed fears that the current dry spell might be experienced for long since the anticipated April rains have failed.
“The predictable rainy period is almost ending with nothing promising and the rains so far experienced are not enough to encounter the growing famine,” he added.
The coordinator explained that both NDMA office and the county government have started campaigns to prompt livestock owners to de-stock so as to save their animals from the ravages of drought.
According to him by creating awareness the livestock keepers can reduce the burden of losing their cattle to famine by selling and buying food and water to sustain them over this trying season.
In the meantime, the county government and his office have made some necessary measures of distributing relief food and water to the affected areas to alleviate the pangs of hunger.
However, he appealed to the national and county governments to come up with affirmative solutions of dealing with drought emergencies like having self-stored food from the local farmers among others. There is need for both administrations to change tact and use irrigation methods to managing farms instead of relying on growing agricultural produce from unpredictable rains. Other areas where the drought is encroaching are the sub-counties are Matuga and Msambweni.