Thousands starve in Nyeri as rains fail


Past relief food distribution in Mathari, Nyeri. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG

More than 25,000 people in Nyeri are in dire need of relief food in the next four months, the National Drought and Management Authority statistics show.

According to agency’s county coordinator Kariuki Kiragu, the late onset of the March, April and May rains, which affected crop production is to blame for the shortage of food.

He said the agency expects more people to depend on the relief food following the invasion of the armyworm, which could see the county realise zero yields.

“We are currently collecting data in the entire county as we project total crop failure following the poor rainfall and the fall armyworm invasion in the county,” he said.

Nyeri County received 42 per cent of the normal rains within that period with the rains beginning at the second week of April.

Farmers also did not plant on time waiting for the rains, which stopped during the crucial stage of maize development known as tasselling.

Kieni is the main food basket for the entire Nyeri County with farmers grow maize, beans and Irish potatoes and also use irrigation to grow cabbages, onions and other horticultural foods.

According to the agency, the constituency is going to experience low yield that will affect the livelihood zones.

Mr Kariuki said the food insecure household in Kieni will require 14, 111 bags of maize, 5, 626 bags of beans and 3, 749 cartons of 18 litres of cooking fat.

Also, there are 15, 000 heads of cattle, goats and sheep migrated into the county for search of pasture having migrated from Pokot, Samburu and Laikipia county.

“Measure have been undertaken to guard the spread of Foot and Mouth disease that had been noticed in Naromoru,” he said.