Brace for acute shortage of fresh vegetables, Kenyans warned

Consumers of fresh produce in Nairobi and Mombasa have been warned to brace for harsh times in light of the total-crop failure recorded in various food baskets due to the ongoing drought.

The most affected are farmers from Ihindu and Maella in Naivasha which for years have been the main suppliers of vegetables and potatoes for the two Cities.

Already over 10,000 families in Naivasha are in dire need of food as the harsh weather condition continues to wreak havoc across the country.

In Ihindu where farmers ferry tonnes of fresh vegetables to Nairobi every day, tens of students have dropped from school in search of food.

According to Chege Ngugi, getting food for the families was becoming harder by the day due to an acute shortage of water for farming.

Ngugi, who is also the chairman of the local branch of farmers, said that production of fresh produce had fallen sharply due to the drought.

“Majority of fresh produce consumed in Nairobi and Mombasa comes from this area and with the drought, consumers should be ready for a major shortage,” he said.

This was echoed by another farmer Hannah Wangui who said that this was the worst ever period for farmers in the agriculture-rich area.

She said that for years they had never relied on food donations but this time around things had changed and they were in dire need of support from well-wishers and the government.

“For years we have been the main supplier of fresh produce for nearby towns including Nairobi but due to the drought we have been reduced to beggars,” she said.

On her part, Mary Gathoni said that they were facing starvation, adding that the majority of the crops in the field had dried up due to the harsh weather adversely affecting food production.

“The drought condition is getting worse by the day, forcing our children to drop out of school, and consumers in Nairobi and Mombasa will have to get alternative sources of vegetables,” she said.

On his part, Naivasha sub-county commissioner Mutua Kisilu said that the most affected were Ndabibi, Longonot, Mai Mahiu, Kongoni, Mirera, and Moi Ndabi areas.

He said that total crop failure had been reported in the agriculturally rich area of Maella, Ndabibi, and Ihindu leading to a major food crisis.

“We are working closely with the county government in seeking ways of supporting the over 10,000 families affected by the drought,” he said.

  

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