- At least 20,000 vulnerable households in Marsabit are set to benefit from 4th round of relief food distribution.
- The countywide emergency relief food is aimed at assisting households that are affected by the ravaging drought.
Marsabit County Government on Wednesday rolled out countywide relief food distribution to the most vulnerable families as the county continues to grapple with the effects of drought and failed rainy seasons that have put thousands of lives at risk.
At least 20,000 vulnerable households in Marsabit are set to benefit from 4th round of relief food distribution launched by Marsabit county secretary Hussein Tari Sasura at the Mountain chief office.
"We have flagged off relief food to benefit 20,000 households across the county and 1000 in each 20 wards. The food rations will last for a month," he said
The countywide emergency relief food is aimed at assisting households that are affected by the ravaging drought.
While presiding over the food distribution, the County secretary instructed all the subcounty and ward administrators to be fair and make sure the most vulnerable including orphans, people with disabilities and the elderly benefit from food distribution.
"I want to warn those who have intention of acquiring and selling this relief food that stern actions will be taken against them," said the county secretary
He said he would personally supervise and oversee distribution in most centres, saying anyone found diverting relief food would be dealt with accordingly.
Sasura was accompanied by Marsabit central ward administrator Halkano Hallo.
The county secretary said Governor Mohamud Ali's led administration through chiefs and village elders had assessed and mapped out the most vulnerable members of the community in each ward.
Sasura said the assistance of food insecure people across the county shows the commitment of the county government to ensuring no one and no place is left behind.
He urged the national government, non-governmental organizations and other development partners to support needy people in the county and more so urban poor who have been neglected.
The county secretary said the relief food distribution by the government and the development partners was not sufficient to mitigate the effects of drought.
"This is the fourth food distribution exercise we are conducting. The national government and some partners have also played their part but our collective efforts are still a drop in the ocean considering the increasing need among food insecure pastoralists," said the county secretary.
Sasura added that due to the severity of the situation, many families still require support.
" Many families especially in rural areas are suffering as they lost their only source of livelihoods. We call upon the national government, NGOs and other development partners to support our efforts so that we can reach more people," he said
He said the county government has undertaken several steps to deal with the drought emergency including massive animal vaccination as well as repairing broken boreholes.
He described Governor Mohamud Ali as passionate and caring for less fortunate people in the county as this 4th phase of distribution is meant to cushion the community against food insecurity.
He said the vulnerable families were identified by chiefs and village elders.
The county secretary said the only solution to fight food shortage in the county is for farmers to use the available rain to grow fast-maturing crops so that they can feed their families and make the county's food insecure.
The donations are meant to last for a month as each beneficiary received 25 KGS of rice and 1 litre of cooking oil.
He urged the beneficiaries to share food rations with their neighbors who did not mind it to the list of beneficiaries.
"We urge those who will receive food rations to share with their neighbours," he said.
Safi Bonaya, a beneficiary could not hide her joy saying that the donations would change her diet since she has been struggling to put food on the table.
Mountain location relief food chairman Abdi Charfi commended the county government for drought mitigation measures against hunger.
He thanked Governor Mohamud Ali for remembering them during hard times of drought when many families in the region have been adversely affected by drought.
"We are now happy because this food will boost us for the next few days as we wait for rain. I want to urge the government to continue providing us with this food," said Charfi.
He however pointed out that the number of affected families is higher than the amount of food dispatched and pleaded with the government for more donations.
Abdi expressed concern that despite Marsabit Central Ward hosting many NGOs, they had been overlooked in terms of assistance as they focused only on low-land areas.
"Living in town does not mean that residents are well off. All NGOs have their office in Marsabit central but operate in rural areas," he said
Community elder Golich Galgallo said it has been a tough time for the local community which is predominantly pastoralists, with most of their livestock succumbing to drought.
He appealed for more food aid in order to ensure that all the needy families that are yet to be reached out also get help to overcome the challenges of hunger.