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10/20/2005

Famine threatens a million people

Filed under: kenya — admin @ 8:33 am

October 20, 2005

More than one million Kenyans face starvation. In the Ukambani region, five MPs yesterday
warned that about 800,000 people were threatened with starvation.

The legislators said most parts of Ukambani had recorded poor harvest in the past two seasons
due to rain failure.

The alert comes after reports that three people had died of hunger in Mandera District, among
them an eight-year-old girl. The deaths occurred barely a month after eight people died of an
undiagnosed disease in Dandu division, the worst hit area in the arid district.

In Rift Valley Province, three districts have been hit by drought leaving more than 200,000
people threatened with starvation. They include Samburu, Turkana and West Pokot.

The districts did not receive adequate rainfall and residents are forced to depend on rations
of maize, beans and cooking fat supplied by the Government.

Kajiado, Koibatek and Nakuru districts have also been hit by drought. MPs Daudi Mwanzia,
Moffat Maitha, Itwiku Mbai, Mwangu Ivuti and Kiema Kilonzo said Machakos, Makueni, Kitui and
Mwingi had been affected by drought.

“We are now sounding an alert that our people are threatened by hunger,” said Maitha.

In West Pokot more than 60,000 people are threatened with starvation following prolonged
drought. More than 80,000 people required food in Samburu District as the consignment
delivered by the Government runs out.

Elsewhere, scores of people were yesterday injured when two Somali clans clashed over a
watering dam in Banissa division of Mandera District. The skirmishes pitted the Degodia
against Garre herdsmen.

Area acting OCPD Robin Keter said five of the victims were slashed and were admitted to
Banissa Dispensary. Others sustained minor injuries and were treated and discharged.

Elsewhere, the Government pledged to distribute relief food to Mandera District after an
assessment indicated that more than 156,000 people faced famine and severe water shortage.

Assistant minister in the Office of the President, Dr Wilfred Machage, said the Government
would distribute 2,000 bags of maize, 1,000 of beans, 5,000 cartons of cooking oil.

Another 1,000 cartons of powder milk will be distributed to area residents in the next two
weeks, he said.

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