county executive for devlotion Kawive Wambua  and his education counterpart flag off relief food for pupils in areas hit by drought Photo:Governor's Press

Makueni County Executive for Devolution Kawive Wambua and his education counterpart  Ruth Kyatha flag off relief food for pupils in areas hit by drought
Photo:Governor’s Press


Last week, the World Food Program (WFP) in collaboration with the Government of  Kenya initiated a cash transfer relief food program for 61,000 food insecure residents in Makueni county.

The Protracted Relief and Recovery Program (PRRO) which according to the head of Nairobi WFP Satellite Office, Christine Omondi will kick of in May, 2015 has however received opposition from residents with a majority castigating the national government for the initiative.

The program, created a heated debate on social media and the residents led by the Governor Professor Kivutha Kibwana took to Facebook to question the sustainability of the three – year program in a country that achieved independence half a century ago. The residents in their comments argued that relief food, locally referred to as ‘Mwolyo’ is not only unsustainable but also humiliating.

relief food



Former regimes were also accused of deliberately ignoring the lower eastern region for selfish gains while politicians were also accused using the relief food as a campaigning  tool for ascending in power.



8The county government was also on the receiving end, especially now that agriculture and water dockets are devolved with some  questioning what measures that the county government had put in place to increase food security for the two years.


But its the county government’s  recently launched  initiative to construct shallow water pans at every household to enhance food productivity,that drew both praise and condemnation in equal measure.




Those opposed to the water pans argued that just like the relief food, the project was unsustainable and suggested for mega water projects which can harvest enough water for both domestic and irrigation use.km7


km9However despite the varied opinions, the residents seemed to agree that the problem required integrated measures and perhaps a different mindset in addressing issues relating to food insecurity.



In the end, the residents were challenged to engage in public participation to initiate sustainable development



From the comments, one cannot fail to realize the residents resolve  to eradicate dependence on relief food and with the onus squarely on the county government. It will be upon the county government to explore all options available, off course with the support of the residents to solve the perennial food insecurity in the county.