INTERVIEWS AND PROGRESS REPORT ON DISEASES, FOOD AND RAINFALL IN KYUSO DISTRICT.
By Dorothy Amboka. Ambokadorothy@gmail.com.
This year; 2009 is when the District is experiencing the longest drought ever. Since 2008 both September and march rains failed. It’s now two years since the last rain drop fall.
There was a report from the meteorological department that El Niño rains were underway. Kyuso community has been impatiently waiting for that moment.
Fortunately, the rains started last week. It rained for seven days continuously. Three days heavy downpour and four days minimum rains. Some farmers planted early but some took their time since they new that the rains were to continue for some time.
Funny enough the rains stopped and its now two weeks since it rained.
Kyuso climate change ALIN group accompanied by the Divisional Agricultural Extension Officer attended several chief Barazas, in four main Divisions Interviewing the chiefs and Farmer representatives. The following progress report was collected from Kyuso Division, Kimangao Division, Mivukoni Division and Kamuongo Division.
Kimangao Division: Chief Joseph Makau
In Kamangao, it rained on one side but other sides of Kalole rains were not well distributed.
Millipedes and chafer crab are eating up seedling roots thus drying them up.
Prices of foods have gone very high; BeansKshs.75, maize Kshs.35 per Kg, cow piece Kshs.40 per Kg.other foods like pigeon piece are not in shops.
Mize have grown up to one foot. People are already eating cow piece.
There’s a problem of moisture and now some foods are already drying up.
Kamuongo Division: Chief Gideon Kasovo.
The rains have already started but people don’t have seedlings for planting. They planted just a small part of their farms.
Maize is growing up and cow piece is already being consumed.
People are still planting especially those people who were waiting for Ministry of Agriculture seeds.
Most people have planted just quarter of their farms.
There are no digging cows since all cows died with drought. One person cannot dig enough.
Some few people have highered digging tractors from other towns at very high prices i.e. Kshs. 2000 per acre.
Complains on pests and diseases are minimal.
Markets are importing food and selling it at a very high price e.g. maize Kshs. 2500 per sack and beans Kshs.5000 per sack.
People who buy for sale, sell maize 32per Kg, beans 65per Kg, cow piece 150 per Kg.
There’s still hunger, people are mixing cow piece with maize for the family to eat.
People feel that the rain has disappeared after raining for only 7 days with 3 heavy rainfalls.
Mivukoni Division: Framer representative Mr.Fednand Mwengi.
Rains started on 5th, 16th and it stopped.
People had planted early and therefore it found the crops already planted. All the crops germinated but now they have started drying up.
The rains wetness has maintained the crops up to now.
Maize is now one foot and people are continuing to cultivate.
Some people planted and others are still planting but there’s too much weed in the farms.
When the rains came, all cows that were remaining died, people bought other cows and now they are doing well.
Hunger is increasing, and most people are depending on food for work beneficiary project.
Food prices have increased; maize 33 per Kg, cow piece 300per Kg, millet 100per Kg and green grams 150/- per Kg.
Some few people have highered cows from very far at very high prices i.e. one metre at Kshs.30.
Kyuso Division: Farmer Agness Mughi.
There were rains for about seven days. Most people have planted almost quarter of their farms.
Weeds are too many in the farms with very minimal labour.
Millipedes are eating the roots of crops and therefore drying them up.
The DAEO Kyuso told the group to encourage farmers to continue cultivating their farms since rains might come back.
The chiefs complained that seeds were distributed very late after the rains.
To do away with weeds, let the farmers start cultivating what they have planted and stop further planting to reduce the weeds.
They said that there were cotton seeds distributed by the ministry but they had not come out. The chairman said that some other seeds will be distributed.
It’s not understood whether the rains will come back or not despite the reports that El Nino rains are already in some parts of Kenya like Kajiado (Isinya) and west Pokot.
After the seven days rain, Kyuso District has become even more hotter and full of funny insects that are entering houses and distracting people.
The crops in the farms are already wilting up. The few crops that were planted during the rainfall are now infested by pests and diseases.
Two years without rains and only seven day’s rainfall. It’s very much embarrassing and unbelievable.
The question is, will rains ever be stable in this area? Is the dry season continuing after all this time that the community has suffered? All this remains to be a saying, nobody knows what next and nobody to believe including the meteorologists. But all in all life has to go on.