Number of people affected by food insecurity in Kwale to rise

The number of people that will be affected by food insecurity in Kwale County is expected to rise to 100,000 over the next four months if the current drought persists.

Kwale County according to a population and housing census of 2009 was 600,000.

At the moment, about 70,000 people have been severely affected by drought and are benefitting from government relief food programmes. This is according to the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA).

Kwale County Drought Coordinator, Mr Roman Shera said the drought and hunger situation was worsening and spreading to other sub-counties. Kinango and Lunga Lunga sub-counties are said to be the hardest hit.

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The others are Msambweni and Matuga where the strain of the drought has started to be felt.

Shera said dry spell will be experienced in Kwale Town for a longer period since the anticipated March to May rains have failed.

“The predictable rainy period is almost ending with nothing promising. The rains we have received so far are not enough to counter the drought that might stretch for a while,” he said.

Shera added that both the national and county governments have started campaigns to encourage livestock farmers affected by drought to destock to avert loses through animal deaths.

“Livestock keepers can sell some of the animals and use the proceeds to buy food to sustain themselves during the dry season,” he said.

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He also maintained that some of the measures taken to mitigate hunger in the region include distribution of relief food and water to the affected people.

Another intervention entails health and nutrition support targeting children under five as well as pregnant and lactating mothers.

He, however, underscored the need to come up with affirmative action to deal with drought emergencies. He also called on locals to adopt alternative agricultural methods such as irrigation owing to the increasingly unreliable rains.

Food shortage in the region has also been compounded by poor harvests in the last season and the fall army worm infestation which led to massive crop destruction, according to the latest county food security report.

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Kwale CountyDroughtFood Insecurity