Food shortage looms as heavy rains destroy crops in Trans Nzoia
Farmers across the country are counting losses after the on-going heavy rains destroyed their crops.
According to the Red Cross, at least 6000 acres of farm land have been washed away during the flooding.
Before the heavy downpour, maize farmers in Trans Nzoia were full of hope. The crops had done so well and a bumper harvest was a dream on the verge of becoming a reality.
“Nimevuna zaidi ya acre 15 na kwa hizo ekari 15 zaidi ya magunia 16 zimeoza. Tunajaribu kuitoa tutafute mahali ya kuweka haiwezekani. Ile iko kwa store inaoza, ile tunavuna inaoza, ile iko kwa mashamba pia kuitoa ni taabu,” lamented Moses Simiyu-Farmer in Saboti.
Most of these farmers grow maize on large scale and therefore heavily depend on mechanized harvesting. But as the rains continue, the use of tractors has been hampered forcing them to turn to labour intensive methods which has also come with its short-comings.
“Tunasubiri angalau mvua ipungue ndio tuendelee kuvuna…. Lakini ukweli ni kwamba mahindi yameoza,” said Philip Boit – Farmer, Cherang’any.
“Hatuna store, hatuna driers yoyote Trans Nzoia, gala ilihamishwa ikapelekwa kule Moi Bridge kule Uasin Gishu, sisi tunabaki na mali ambayo inaoza, ukiona unashindwa ulie ama ufanye namna gani,”said Simiyu.
While experts are predicting tough times ahead, the government seems aware that the cycle could turn around fast.
“This is a terrible new normal, we have had drought and floods in the same year…,” said Eugene Wamwala- CS, Devolution.
In Gakonya village in Kiharu, Murang’a County, rice farmers are feeling the brunt of heavy rains. Their crop which was to be harvested is now submerged.
“ Hii mchele ikichelewa kuvunwa itaenda hasara kubwa sana. Sasa hiyo mchele itaanza kuanguka kwa maji ikipitisha siku yake ya kuvunwa,” lamented Joel Irungu- Farmer Kiharu.
“Nilikuwa nimekuja kuvuna but nikapata maji yamejaa shambani,” said Mercy Wambui -Rice Farmer, Kiharu.
The Meteorological department maintains that the downpour could go on until the end of December.
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