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MP calls for aid, says 30,000 face starvation

By | September 11th 2009

By Patrick Muriungi

More than 30,000 people in North Imenti are faced with starvation as drought continues.

Area MP Silas Muriuki is appeal of relief supplies to minimise suffering.

The MP has called for doubling of relief food monthly rations.

He said in Ruiri District alone, about 7,000 people have been affected by famine, 6,000 in Rwarera, 3,000 in Ntirimiti, 2,000 in Ngushishi and Kisima and 5,000 in Kirimara.

Mr Muriuki called on the Government to launch feeding programmes in primary and secondary schools, noting residents were working with the school administrations to carry out their own feeding programmes.

Drying up

Speaking in Meru town, the MP, at the same time, attributed drying up of local rivers to eucalyptus trees along catchments.

He asked residents to cut them down. The MP said many residents had planted the trees hoping to sell them as electricity poles. He said he would table a Bill in Parliament soon to necessitate a law to compel people to uproot the trees in catchments.

He also lamented over the delay of completion of a footbridge along River Kathita in Meru town and called for its speedy completion.

Many Kenyans are faced with hunger as drought ravages most parts of the country, including the agriculturally-rich Rift Valley Province.

Agriculture Minister William Ruto blames four straight years of erratic rains as the cause of the famine.

Even the strategic grain reserves are similarly depleted, currently holding 2.5 million bags of maize instead of 8 million bags.

The national production of maize has dropped from 28 million bags a year to a paltry 20 million bags, representing 70 per cent reduction.

The Government proposed measures, with emergency relief food supply targeting between four and six million vulnerable Kenyans.

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