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Let's help people of Marsabit put food on their table 

By Nicholas Asego | May 3rd 2021
Water is scarce in Telesgaye and Sobare in Sericho, Illeret, Marsabit County. [Courtesy]

Let us all join hands and help residents of Marsabit to put food, water on their table 

The situation in Marsabit is a sad one and needs urgent attention. While the rest of the country grapples with coronavirus pandemic, residents of the county are struggling with the ravages of drought and with it, starvation and hunger for more than 100,000 people.

And they are not the only ones. The same could befall 1.4 million people in the larger northern Kenya, according to the Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG). With drought comes intercommunity wars as drought-ravaged villagers invade neighbouring areas for pasture, bringing about conflicts.

It was Pearl S Buck who said that a ‘hungry man can’t see right or wrong. He just sees food.’

The limited pastures have been depleted and almost all the water sources have dried up. According to KFSSG, 400,000 children in the country aged between six months to five years are acutely malnourished and in need of treatment and nutritional support.

How bad can it get?

County leaders are appealing for immediate relief food and water. The National Government, despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, should intervene and supplement the county government’s efforts in supplying food and water trucking to avert any deaths.

Death, whether by Covid-19 or famine, is painful. While we appreciate the efforts of donors like the Kenya Red Cross Society, more still needs to be done. The organisation’s effort to salvage the situation in some areas needs to be supplemented as residents of Marsabit County need immediate food assistance and provision of emergency healthcare services.

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The situation, if nothing is done, looks grim. Kenya Red Cross estimates that the residents may continue to depend on food aid if the rains don’t come anytime soon and in good quantity. In fact, it will worsen and persist through October 2021.

As a consequence of this, school attendance will be greatly affected as most learners from ECDE to secondary school levels will be forced to drop out of school due to the biting hunger.

Well-wishers, companies and other institutions need to come on board and help mobilise resources before the situation gets out of hand.

The residents of Marsabit, like other Kenyans, have a right to put food on their table.


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