UNTIL WHEN SHALL WE BE ABLE TO SUSTAIN IN FOOD PRODUCTION WITHOUT AT ANY TIME APPEALING FOR FOOD AID?AND,WHEN SHALL WE FIND SUSTAINABLE WAYS OF CURBING HUNGER? BY;MUNGAI

The writing is on the wall,while the whining cry is loud and clear ,as messages of donation appeals are being sent  across the country for the kenyans of goodwill to donate kindly towards the alleviation of the current drought which is ravaging most parts of the country.According to the Red Cross and World Food Programme,the situation on the ground is pathetic creating a major humanitarian crisis which needs urgent attention and measures to be undertaken to save the million of lifes.

In their report,it says that currently around 2.4 millon kenyans are on the brink of starvation due to the on-going drought which is ravaging most parts of the country.But,the most affected areas are in the arid and semi-arid areas of the country where people are staring at death due to starvation.In these areas most people are relying on wild plants and fruits ,plus the rare food aid relief  for survival.

But,in total contrast rejoinder ,reports are emerging that farmers in some areas have more food than they know what to do with at a time when people in other areas are starving is an indictment of a government that is both incoherent and dysfuctional during crises.It is also a confirmation that,indeed ,there may be enough food in the country ,but,nobody seems to know how to move it to the stricken areas.

These arid and semi arid areas have been experiencing food shortages for many years due to erratic  weather patterns and the effects of global warming ,with the dry spells being the order of the day.Learning in schools in these areas has already been adversely affected ,and ,even regions traditionally known for food sufficiency like Central Kenya are facing hunger this time.

The pathetic situation hasn’t being saved by the high influx of refugees from the neighbouring war-torn Somalia ,which is experiencing a severe drought.The hungry stricken  Somalis are trekking thousand of kilometres in harsh terrains of their country in their attempt to reach the refugee camps in Kenya.Somalia ,is ,indeed in a desperate situation which requires a critical humanitarian help to save lifes ,but, the militant terror wing ,the al shabaab which controls most of the regions have banned the humanitarian food aids.Most of the food aid agencies have being locked out of that country.

This pathetic situation has caught the eye of the International community,whom most of them have responded to the outcry.According to Pope Benedict xvi,in his voice ,said that we must not be indifferent to the tragedy of the hungry and the thirsty.Many brothers and sisters in the horn of africa are suffering these days from the dramatic consequences of the famine ,aggravated by war and lack of stable institutions,calling for “compassion”and “fraternal solidarity”.

The overall government response to the drought and famine in the Northern kenya where people of kenya and somalia refugees are facing one of the worst humanitarian crisis is a grave indictment of the government ,which is rather wanting.The high refugees influx has strained the country’s capability to feed them hence the appeal of food aid from the International community.

This drought was indeed predicted by United Nations agencies and even our local metereological departments and the government was briefed accordingly in advance to prepare for the worst drought in recent years.All this fellmon deaf ears .And,strangely the government response was to issue the now monotonous and irritating rhetoric statement that “no kenyan will die of hunger “and that it has enough strategic maize reserves .Now millions of people are literally staring death in the face as the government appeals for food aid from a fatigued international community.

But,until when shall we sustain ourselves in food production without at any time appealing for food aid ?When shall we find sustainable ways of curbing hunger?

While the expected harvest may mitigate the current hunger,it will not guarantee our food security.Therefore we need more  sustainable ways of curbing hunger.The images of the effects of drought in the region which is perennial,requires a rethink of the current policy,if a policy exists.The situation is likely to get worse as the cumulative effects of climate change and the spread of the Sahara desert southwards continues.

According to a United Nations report titled ,”Kenya humanitarian report”,from a research carried out from July 13-22,indicates that rain failure had resulted in eroding stocks that had being realised in the year 2009/10 leading to people in Eastern Kenya depleting their reserves.

The report says that three consecutive seasons of failed rains could be the reason why famine has hit the country hard.Some parts of Kenya have faced two,or,three successive poor rain seasons thus eroding gains made after the 2009/10 el nino rains.

It indicates that 2.4 million people ae currently in need of relief food but the number could shoot up to 2.5 million by month-end.


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