The County government of West Pokot has launched the disbursement of relief food to hunger stricken families to cushion residents from the prevailing hunger. For a period of three years now, the area has experienced serious crop failure, food shortages and perennial hunger due to a prolonged drought hence the World Food Programme (WFP) withdrew its distribution of food in the area.
A total of 5,000 bags of maize that was bought in October last year by the County government for strategic reserve is now being disbursed to areas affected by hunger. The first consignment has been distributed to the most affected areas.
Speaking at Kacheliba when he officially flagged off the disbursement of the food, West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo said the County government has put in place long term measures to help avert and eradicate the hunger problem.
Governor Lonyangapuo said the food will be distributed to the most vulnerable areas that are worst affected by hunger. “As the County government we’ve been distributing food especially in schools and in many areas hit by drought like North Pokot and Central Pokot,” he said.
He said the County had pumped lots of funds to the agricultural sector to help residents produce their own food and avoid depending on relief food. “We’ve helped farmers to plant over 100 acres of maize in the whole County in order to increase food production. We gave out seedlings that can grow on quarter acres and we are expecting a bumper harvest this year,” he said.
The West Pokot Governor said the County has many permanent rivers and they’re encouraging residents to set up residences along the rivers to harness the water.
One of the residents Saumu Hassan Lodomo, said the region experienced total crop failure during previous planting seasons and most of their animals had moved to Uganda in search of pastures and water.
She further said that maize in the area was destroyed by pests and they didn’t harvest during the last planting season.