Hunger intensifies in Gatundu North as shopkeepers stop lending desperate locals

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 28 Mar, 2023 10:34 | 2 mins read
ome of the beneficiaries of food donations leave Kairi shopping centre. PHOTO/Mathew Ndung'u

As most Kenyans continue to struggle to make ends meet, shopkeepers in Gatundu North, Kiambu County have stopped selling goods on credit to desperate consumers over repayment uncertainties.

Due to poverty and prolonged drought, most residents of Kairi, Gatono, Kagambwa, Muirigo, Kangaita, Makwa, Magumu and Gakui villages in the constituency have been surviving on borrowing from local shops hoping for a better tomorrow.

But shopkeepers are now reported to have stopped their lending habit after it emerged that most debtors have not been repaying for the items borrowed, a situation that left most families surviving on a single and at some point zero meal a day.

While most locals take goods on credit from their local shopkeepers which they repay at the end of the month, depleted sources of income have left borrowers defaulting on credits given which has triggered the go-slow by retailers who fear losing their money.

Magdalene Kinyanjui, a local resident says a silent but deadly and urgent hunger crisis has been wreaking havoc in the villages and critical interventions are required to help the struggling locals survive.

Kinyanjui said that while the area has received substantial rainfall after three years of failed downpour, it will take time for the locals to enjoy food from their farms.

Speaking during a food donation exercise organized by Chania Ward MCA Joseph Mwangi Kibuu, locals cried out to the government to consider channelling relief food in the area to enable them to cope with the harsh economic challenges.

“People are going to bed with nothing in their stomachs. Shopkeepers have stopped listening to us who borrow as we continue to accumulate debts which we cannot pay for now because we do not have the money to do so. It’s a very sad state of affairs,” Kinyanjui told journalists.

Chania Ward MCA Jospeh Mwangi donates food rations to residents at Kairi village. PHOTO/Mathew Ndung'u

His sentiments were echoed by James Mwai, another affected local who decried that while they have started planting on their farms, hunger continues to hit the area and urges the government to promptly provide them with a solution.

Most residents decried the lack of income sources to see them through the hard times insisting on the need for the government to provide job opportunities to the residents to enable them to put food on the table.

On his part, the area MCA echoed the sentiments of locals saying most families are impoverished and the failure of shopkeepers to lend to them has compounded the situation.

Mwangi who issued them with food rations to last them for at least three days revealed that the Kiambu County government will start issuing maize seeds to farmers to facilitate massive plantations for improved food production.

“We are aware of the hunger situation with our people. Today we only gave them maize flour and rice to help them survive for two or three days but as a county, we have a plan to start distributing maize seeds to farmers because this is the surest way of ending the hunger crisis,”the MCA said.

Related Topics