The Star (Nairobi)

30 August 2012

Kenya: Hungry Taita Taveta Residents Now Appeal for Relief Supplies

Photo: Neil Palmer/CIAT
Drought in Kenya (file photo): More than 60,000 people in the area are under the Food for Assets programme and depend on relief food distribution, according to a government official.

Taita Taveta residents whose crops were destroyed by wildlife are appealing for relief food from the government. An estimated 87,000 people in the region are affected by famine caused by drought and destruction of food crops by wildlife.

Scores of elephant herds have invaded farms in the lowland areas where they have destroyed thousands of acres of crops.

The most affected areas include Maktau, Kasighau, Mwachabo, Kishushe, Paranga, Chala, Chumvini, Godoma and other villages adjacent to the Tsavo Park. In the highland areas at Taita Hills, the situation is the same where thousands of monkeys have invaded farms and destroyed maize, bananas and cassava among other food crops.

The residents have accused the Kenya Wildlife Service of moving the monkeys to the area, a claim KWS has denied. Residents interviewed by the Star in Mwatate town recently said the relief food sent by the government to the area is inadequate. "We have been here since morning and what we are getting is even too little to sustain a family for two days," said Rose Malombo, a Mwatate resident. An estimated 67,000 residents are receiving food aid.

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