22 January 2014

Kenya: MP Urges State to Address Turkana Hunger Woes

Photo: Siegfried Modola/IRIN
Over 400,000 people face starvation in Turkana County (file photo).

AN MP from Turkana has asked the government and humanitarian groups to supply food and water to more than 400,000 people facing starvation. Turkana Central MP John Lodepe said the situation is worsening. Lodepe said children and women are most affected.

He said the government should start irrigation projects in the area as a long term solution to the famine problem. "We have more than eight contractors who were mandated to initiate irrigation projects but they have not done anything. The projects would have solved the famine problem," Lodepe said.

The government has already dispatched a team to survey the situation in Turkana where more than 35,000 children are reportedly dropped out of school. Most of them have joined their parents in the search for food and water. Disaster Management executive Charles Lokioto said they are putting up intervention measures.

Some families have migrated to the neighbouring Uganda tin search of food and pasture for livestock. More than 30,000 pastoralists have crossed to villages in North and East Uganda.

"We have to take urgent measures to save the lives of the children and other people hit by hunger," Lokioto said. He said boreholes, rivers and water points have dried up in the last three weeks. The World Food Programme has been distributing some relief food in parts of the county under the school feeding programme.

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