Family of 12 stare hunger in the face

Struggle… Omuthiya Constituency Councillor Samuel Shivute holds the empty maize meal container as Hilaria Pinias (in the background) narrates the household’s battle to feed themselves.


The drought has literally ravaged a family of 12 in Onalunike village, who in the absence of good rain this year did not harvest any grain from their mahangu field. The family solely lives on donated food.

The effects of the drought were very visible when New Era visited the family with Omuthiya councillor Samuel Shivute to donate food to them. The homestead’s fireplace, used for cooking, had clearly not been used to cook food for some days.

“We are hopeless here with no any other means of securing something to eat, as we are both unemployed. We solely survived from mahangu but this year we didn’t harvest anything at all,” said a visibly emotional Hilaria Pinias, a single mother of four and eight grandchildren.

Pinias showed the councillor the flour container which had barely an ounce of flour to feed her family for the coming days. Her mahangu field did not yield even one kilogramme of mahangu. The only other food in the house were two pumpkins that Pinias said she had just received from her neighbours.

According to Pinias the drought has nearly broken the family’s resolve to live, but she expressed gratitude for the donation of food from the councillor’s office.

Councillor Shivute facilitated the donation following his visit to the homestead last week. The family live at Onaluninke about 20 kilometres north of Omuthiya.

The family seemed very happy when they received the food which consisted of six bags of maize meal and tinned fish.
Meanwhile, Shivute said it was the council’s responsibility to assist the needy wherever they can, and it was therefore the right thing to do.

Government has declared a state of emergency due to the drought that has ravaged the country in recent years, but it has thus far countered its effects with the provision of drought relief food to mitigate the severity of hunger.


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