- She said their main worry is that the number is set to rise with the ongoing drought.
- She added that the situation has also led to cases of school dropouts as children join their parents in search of food.
The North Imenti drought risk management committee has raised concerns over the rise in the number of malnourished children in the subcounty.
The committee chairperson, who is also the deputy county commissioner Odilliah Ndeti, said a total of 149 cases had been reported in various health facilities in the subcounty in September.
Ndeti said out of these, 90 were severely malnourished while 59 were moderately malnourished.
She added that 10 pregnant and lactating mothers were also under the ‘Lishe Bora’ programme at Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital.
“We are concerned that these are the reported cases alone. I am sure there are others yet to be reported which might even be more than this,” Ndeti said.
She attributed the figure to the ongoing drought in the subcounty, especially after farmers from Giaki division, which is the region's food basket experienced low harvest during the last season.
As a result, she said, the cost of food has soared and many families cannot afford food that can offer the required nutritional value to their children.
“We also have cases of malnutrition in our informal settlements within the subcounty which include Majengo, Mjini and Shauri,” Ndeti said.
She said their main worry is that the number is set to rise with the ongoing drought. She urged well-wishers to intervene by donating foodstuff.
“We are calling on the people who can donate foodstuffs to do so to help affected families as we wait for the government’s intervention,” Ndeti said.
She added that those who would wish to donate foodstuff or even money to do so through her office or the Meru county special programmes department.
Giaki assistant county commissioner Ms Betty Kinanda said almost 2,000 households have been affected by the drought in the area.
She added that the situation has also led to cases of school dropouts as children join their parents in search of food.
“The River Kuuru that the residents have been depending on for irrigation is also drying up,” Inanda said.
(Edited by Tabnacha O)