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Anglican Church buys rice in preparation for looming famine

EASTERN
By Munene Kamau | Feb 13th 2015 | 2 min read

MWEA: Following massive crop failure in most parts of Kirinyaga County due to inadequate short rains late last year, the Anglican Church is buying rice to mitigate the looming famine.

Diocesan Bishop Joseph Kibucwa said the church has so far spent Sh1 million in buying paddy rice from farmers at the Mwea Irrigation Scheme.

The cleric said although the programme was started a bit late when the harvesting season was almost ending, the church has managed to secure some reasonable amount of the grain.

''We took some time studying the situation before arriving at this decision to buy the paddy rice and have it stored for use when the looming famine finally starts to bite our people,'' Kibucwa said.

IRRIGATION EXPERT

He said they had also anticipated to add some more from the latoon crop which has incidentally failed due to acute water shortage in the scheme.

The latoon crop comes from the offshoots after harvesting the main crop and does not require much attention though its harvest is low, according to Hosea Wendot, an irrigation expert.

Mr Wendot said if adequate water is available, harvests from the latoon crop can sometimes increase to almost half of what is produced from the on-season.

Mr Wendot is the immediate former manager of the National Irrigation Board at the giant Mwea Scheme. He has since been posted to the board headquarters in Nairobi.

Thursday, Kibucwa said his staffers have stared identifying families already hit by food shortage.

Some of the hardest hit areas are Karima, Rukanga, Makutano, Murinduko and Kanjuu

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