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Over 25,000 Residents Face Starvation As Drought Continue To Bite Across The Country.

OVER 25, 000 residents of Murang’a County have been hit by severe drought and are now relying on relief food from the government.

This comes at a time climate experts have warned that the Kenyan semi-arid regions will continue to experience severe drought in the coming decades.

The worst hit areas are the lower Murang’a namely Ithanga ward, Kakuzi/Mitumbiri, Kambiti, Kambirwa and some parts of Maragua constituency.

Murang’a County Commissioner John Elung’ata is wary that this statistics might escalate with time due to the failure in last season’s crop harvest and the current pro-longed dry spell.

However, Elung’ata reassured the people that the government has initiated plans avail relief food as plans for long-term solutions were being worked out and implemented according to available resources.

Speaking when he accompanied Transport PS Mr. Irungu Nyakeera at Ngaatho and Ithanga primary schools in Ithanga Ward of Gatanga constituency, areas worst hit by the drought, the CC the government is supplying rice, cooking oil and drinking water to the drought stricken areas.

The PS Irungu said that the government has already formed a committee to mitigate the drought issue in 17 Counties that had been identified as drought stricken.

“We have mapped up the areas that are hardest hit and all of them are being given food. I just plead with Kenyans to avoid bringing politics into the drought challenge for we are talking about the lives of human beings,” said Irungu.

Murang’a Women Representative Sabina Chege who graced the event pointed out that donations were never a permanent solution and insisted that the government needed to come up with long term plans to mitigate drought.

Meanwhile, as drought and starvation continues to bite, Maragua constituency residents has a reason to get worried as they cannot access drinking water.

The government has however moved in by donating water bowsers to the residents who scamper for the little available commodity.

Murang’a County Commissioner Mr. John Elung’ata said that the government has already delivered over 10, 000 liters of water to the residents in Maragua constituency, as it prepared to replicate the same to other areas of lower Gatanga constituency such like Ithanga, Kakuzi/Mitumbiri wards.

“We are forced to queue for long since the water cannot be easily accessed,” lamented Christine Mweke who said that area boreholes had all dried up.

Peter Gitau from Mithini village expressed disappointment in the local leadership who he claim came to them for votes during the last electioneering period, promising to drill borehole to fight the drought situation, something, he says, was just empty promises to hoodwink them into voting for these leaders.

He also complained of the poor road infrastructure in the area that had seen Makuyu lag behind in development.

According to Lemi Muia, a climate expert and member of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), there is a serious need to formulate and implement appropriate interventions to enable communities in arid and semi-arid areas to adapt to the effects of climate change.

“By adoption I mean more efficient use and preservation of ground water resources and sources, continuous development of drought-tolerant crops and tree species coupled with forestry practices that are less vulnerable to droughts,” he said.

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