Written by Leonard Wamalwa
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A section of one of the amize farm that was destroyed by the hailstones in Kwanza constituency. Areas affected were: Kapomboi, Kapkoi and Marinda. [ Photo | Leonard Wamalwa.| West Fm]
Hundreds of farmers in Kapomboi, Kapkoi and Marinda areas of Kwanza district are counting losses after heavy rains accompanied by hailstones destroyed their crops in the week end bringing down over 4000 acres of crop.
The hail stones destroyed virtually all the beans that have no hope of survival as compared to the maize which some of the farmers still have hopes that may heal and pick up though the yield might be greatly affected.
Speaking to West FM at some of the farms in Kapomboi, the farmers led by councilor Kefa Were, Jackline Busuru and Dismas Wanyonyi said that they might face a dire food shortage next year if they are not aided by the government and other donors.
"We do not expect to harvest any beans this year after the stones ran down everything and yet they were in the flowering stage hence cannot put on anything," said Wanyonyi.
They said that they are also used to rely on the leaves of the beans which they pick and cook at a certain stage in plenty acting as their main meal thus might find it harder this time round. Mrs Busuru said that they expected the beans to alleviate the price of maize that has gone beyond Kshs 100 per two kilogram tin famously known as Korokoro.
"And this is a sign of hunger especially when we are heading to the general elections whereby people expected to harvest their food and keep enough stock to cater for them in any eventuality if the 2007 scenario recurs during the elections but unfortunately this disaster has fallen them," Were pointed out.
He noted that the changing political scenarios in the country have put some of the farmers in dilemma not knowing if they will manage to have humble time to do their normal farming next year hence banked a lot of hopes in this year's harvest.
Dismas Wanyonyi, one of the affected farmer.
They revealed that the area has been experiencing such calamities for quite a while but they have never received any attention from government officers in the line ministries and other donor agencies.
The civic leader called on government officers from the ministry of agriculture and special programs to tour the area immediately to assess the cost of the damage so that they can give the necessary assistance including advice and relief food.
The area is also said to be hit by floods that also sweep some of their crops and thus aggravating the situation.
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