An Austrian organization has embarked on distributing farm inputs in Kilifi and Kwale counties to boost food security.
The organisation, Zukunft Dank Dir (ZDD) is distributing seedlings, fertilizers and agrichemicals to locals in the drought-stricken areas.
Kwale and Kilifi counties are semi-arid areas whose locals highly depend on relief food annually from the government.
Over 600 locals in the two counties have benefited from the project.
Speaking to journalists at Gongoni on Wednesday, the C.E.O ZDD Alexandria Neuhold said that the NGO chose the two counties in the Coast region as they are most affected whenever there is drought.
“Locals living in these two counties especially in Ganze, Gongoni, Samburu and Kinango are normally most affected by drought hence they completely lack food,” Neuhold said.
She said that the NGO decided to come up with a solution of distributing the seedlings, fertilizer, pesticides and drilling boreholes for irrigation so that they can practice farming and sustain themselves.
“Distributing relief food is not a long term solution for the drought and famine menace. Because the relief food does not sustain the families even for a week. The best thing is to enable the locals to do the farming and making sure that they have all that is required in the farm to have a good harvest,” Neuhold said.
She, however, urged the government to drill several boreholes in these areas so that the locals can get water for irrigation.
“The locals-only depend on rains, which at times delays due to climate change. So let the government drill several boreholes in these areas to facilitate irrigation for them as they do the planting,” she said.
The Kenyan Chapter ZDD director Safari Chanzi urged the locals to practice farming and stop waiting for relief food.
“You have been given all the farm requirements like seedlings, fertilizers, crops pesticides and water for irrigation go ahead and farm don’t wait for relief food,” said Chanzi.
Chanzi also appealed to the county governments of Kilifi and Kwale to work together with ZDD organisation in ensuring that the locals are food secure.
“I urge the two county governments to assist us in this project and ensure the locals practice farming and produce their food for subsistence,” he said.