NEWS 2008


Lamu famine a sign of coming food crisis

8. May 2008

It was heartbreaking to watch news footage of the Boni community in Lamu District whose lives have been ravaged by famine. It is hard to believe Kenya, a regional economic giant, has so many starving people.

While it was said the famine is a result of prolonged drought, I believe this has only aggravated the situation, not caused it.

Landlessness in the Coast Province has compounded the situation, but the chief cause is the peoples’ way of life. The Boni are hunters and gatherers and do not cultivate crops because nature feeds them.

Nature, however, has decided to teach them a bitter lesson.

Agriculture minister Mr William Ruto should assume the Lamu crisis is a harbinger of a serious food shortage. How can he say strategic food reserves are adequate when people like the Boni are suffering?

Harrison Ikunda,
via email.