500 irrigation farmers now appeal for help
About 500 irrigation farmers whose crops were destroyed last week when the giant River Tana burst banks are now appealing to the county, national governments and other well-wishers for assistance.
Speaking on behalf of the affected farmers, the Vice Chairman of the Kenya Farmers Federation, Dubat Amey told the press in Garissa town on Monday that victims are unable to access their farms at a time they anticipate to harvest.
“Their crops were swept away by raging floods when they were preparing to harvest. Most of them lost their entire crop. They need assistance as they recover from the loss,” Amey narrated.
Amey said the government should provide relief food assistance to the farmers as they wait for their farms to dry up, adding that they will also require seeds and other inputs at a later stage.
“This problem has been occurring every time were experience floods. It’s time we look for a multi-sectoral approach through the county and national government so that we can have a long time solution to this perennial problem that keeps on hurting our farmers,” he added.
Amey said majority of the farmers are victims of prolonged drought that left them destitute after losing their entire livestock herd.
“These are pastoralists who abandoned livestock rearing to try their lack in irrigation farming. This is double tragedy,” the vice chairman said.
Last week while distributing relief assistance to about 2,000 flood victims from Ziwani and Bakuu, Garissa County Commissioner, James Kianda said the national government is assessing the damages to the farms with a view to assisting the irrigation farmers, appealing to well-wishers to assist the flood victims.
The Kenya Red Cross provided non-food items to the Ziwani and Bakuyu flood victims that, included blankets, tents, mosquito nets, utensils among others.
The Garissa county government was tasked with providing clean and safe drinking water in addition to ensuring the hygiene conditions are habitable.
By Jacob Songok