An image of a frail and hungry Sokoke MCA Thaura Mweni sitting under a dried tree at Mrima Wa Ndege village has been on social media for the past three days.
The Sokoke MCA in Ganze Kilifi County is on a hunger strike for seven days in solidarity with his electorates who are facing an acute food shortage.
Speaking in an interview, the MCA left his residential home to join citizens of Mrima wa Ndege for a stay of seven days. He is yet to stop and will only act after both the National and County governments come to action with lasting solutions of the people dying of hunger within his jurisdiction of power.
Through his social media, Mr Mweni said that he will not sit down and watch as his people go through the ravaging hunger which has also claimed hundreds of livestock.
“I would like to make it public that in solidarity with the great people of Sokoke, the people I represent,I will not sit and watch as they go through these hard times alone…let the country and the world know how serious it is down here..we do not want to lose a life due to hunger…From tomorrow I have decided to go without food for several days in a way to tell the world out there that my people are suffering…Let the government understand how grave the situation is here, he said in a statement.
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His sentiments come at a time when President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared the ravaging drought a national disaster. Currently, the government is working around the clock to avail food to communities affected by famine around the country. Kilifi is yet to get a share of the relief food.
This comes barely a month after Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire called for quick interventions to address hunger and starvation in the area.
Mwambire said that the situation is dire after the failed rainy season.
“In Ganze, we registered total crop failure. Some areas have never received rainfall for the last three years,” he said.
“Many people prepared their farms and even planted but in most areas, the crops did not germinate.”
Mwambure said people have started dying of hunger though the matter is treated with privacy.
According to the MP, the drought situation has also resulted in increased human-wildlife conflict.
“We have seen wild animals move from Tsavo in Taita Taveta to areas in Ganze which we have never heard of those animals cross to,” he said.
“Elephants now maraud to Matanomane and Bale which are miles away from Tsavo because there is no food even for the wild animals in the park and the buffer zones.”
The sub county has recorded a surge in livestock migration from Garissa and Mandera counties who have been camping there in search of pasture.
In February 2021, the National Drought Management Authority (NEMA) warned of a drought situation in Baringo, Isiolo, Kilifi, Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir and Turkana.