LOOMING DISASTER

640,000 people face starvation in Turkana as drought bites

11,000 families in dire need of relief food; 4,925 metric tones worth Sh419 million distributed.

In Summary
  • Turkana Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro said the entire county is affected by drought and hunger.
  • Since last August, Turkana has not received any rainfall.
Residents of Lobolo village along the shores of Lake Turkana receive a food donation from Maisha Project
AID: Residents of Lobolo village along the shores of Lake Turkana receive a food donation from Maisha Project
Image: HESBORN ETYANG

At least 640,000 people are at risk of starvation due to drought, the Turkana county government has said.

Turkana Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro said the entire county is affected by drought and hunger. Since last August, Turkana has not received any rainfall.

Lotethiro said 50 per cent of the population (about 640,000 people) are facing starvation as drought intensifies in most parts of Turkana.

“The drought situation in Turkana is gradually getting worst. The National Drought Management Authority report reveals that we are getting into the alarm situation and by extension an emergency in the region,” he said.

Lotethiro spoke when he flagged off relief food for 11,000 families affected by drought and hunger in Turkana.

He said the hardest hit areas include Turkana North, Kibish, Turkana West, Turkana East, Turkana Central and Loima.

He said the new cycle of relief food distribution is part of a response plan by the county government to aid residents from food insecurity amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The county government through the Covid-19 fund has procured 70,000 bags of white maize, 6,500 bags of rice, 16,000 bags of beans and 15,000 cans of cooking oil which will cover 11,000 households estimated at a population of 640,366 in the entire county,” Lotethiro said.

Public Administration and Disaster Management chief officer Esther Ikaru said the relief food was 4,925 metric tones worth Sh419 million.

Ikaru said the food dispatches will prioritise Kibish, Turkana North and East subcounties worst hit by the dry season with the remaining areas to be served as distribution continues.

Last week, Governor Josphat Nanok appealed to the national government, through the Ministry of Devolution and Arid and Semi-Arid Lands,to help feed thousands of people in the county currently staring at starvation due to the devastating effects of drought.

Edited by Henry Makori

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