Hunger drives hapless people to feast on rats

As experts from all parts of the world converged to attend the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Conference in Nairobi, thousands of people have been forced to eat rats to survive as acute food shortage continues to bite in the East African region.

The FAO conference is scheduled to discuss food shortages and high cost of food commodities currently being experienced in several countries

Areas most affected in EA include northern Kenya, central and northern Tanzania and Ethiopia where those facing famine are eating wild fruits, roots and herbs to survive. A proportion of 12 million people living in the region face acute food shortages following vagaries of climate and political instability in the region especially in Rwanda and Burundi.

There has also been an outcry of high cost of food stuffs and cost of food production leading to shortage of food. Another reason cited is high inflation rates affecting several countries.

In Kenya the rate of inflation stands at 26% and several of the country’s farmers abandoned their farms early this year following post election violence occassioned by disputed presidential elections.

The arable lands are now lying idle. Other areas have experienced long spells of drought with crops withering and livestock dying.

 

By Ken Chelimo

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