droughtinkenya

Haunted by the ghosts of drought and Famine

By Michael Njoroge

Our culture of ignorance and kneejerk reaction to disaster is very much engrained in our way of life. It is hurting to accept that the ghosts of draught and famine still roams in our midst year after year. Hunger, poverty and food insecurity remains Kenya’s worst enemy from time immemorial and we have carried it through to the 21st Century. That is not the new to us. The problem is that the National Draught Management Authority raised an alarm of looming famine on January this year.

However, due to poor strategic planning and preparedness we have let the ugly scenes of emaciated “Human Being” be the face of the country and Africa in general. We thus ought not to be offended when westerners refer to Africa as a dark continent. I tend to conquer with the adage that the more things change the more they remain the same. When did the rain start hitting us? Are we priding about the new constitution that revolutionized our policies, institutions and bought devolution and governance closer to the people without action?

The layman and the elite would say yes to it. Resource planning and implementation of community empowerment projects has failed. It is shameful to find some counties especially where drought worst hit cannot exhaust their budget. Local resource mobilization in these areas also cannot score a mark. Did we not hit a water mine in Turkana? On the other hand as the poverty stricken masses in the Northern part of the country continue to live hand to mouth, farm products from conducive counties cannot find a market. It thus echoes to our mind that resolving the recurrent and ever perpetuating food insecurity calls for a more integrative and collective approach especially in implementation.

The community and leaders alike ought to invest ideas together. Leaders should be more project oriented in mobilizing county resources and on the other hand the community should develop a flexible culture which give room for positive change in their way of life. The various government agencies and NGOs mandated to promote sustainable food security in the country should also be more action oriented rather than investing more in policy meetings.

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