The Associated Press, May 25, 2000 Filed at 10:59 a.m. EDT
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Kenya's president appealed to the United
States and the European Union for food aid, saying 23 million Kenyans
face hunger due to the lack of seasonal rain, newspapers reported
Daniel arap Moi announced the appeal Wednesday in a rally at his rural
home near the farming town of Nakuru, 90 miles northwest of the
Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
He did not say when he made the request or how the government
reached the population figure, which equals almost 80 percent of Kenya's
29 million people.
The long rains usually come from March to May, the country's main
planting season. But despite overcast skies, there has been little rainfall.
The U.N. World Food Program plans to appeal for food for about 2.3
to 2.7 million Kenyans this year, Brenda Barton, an agency
spokeswoman said Thursday.
``Right now we are working on figures of the needy people in the whole
of the Horn of Africa before making the appeal,'' Barton said.
The USAID Famine Early Warning System in Nairobi estimates this year
in Kenya there will be a shortage of 2.2 million bags of maize, a staple for
Kenyans. The government's estimate is 3 million bags. A bag is 198
Kenya is suffering from a three-year drought that is threatening 16 million
people in the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and
The drought has also played havoc with Nairobi's supply of hydroelectric
power and drinking water, both of which will be rationed.