Several people were injured as they scrambled for relief food at South Alego Location in Siaya district, Nyanza Province as hunger continues to bite in the country.

The relief maize had spilled as the lorry that was transporting it overturned in a freak road accident.

Unconfirmed sources said the consignment was headed to the home of an undisclosed local politician.

It was a free for all as residents tried to scoop as much as they could of the maize with the loaders being forced to watch helplessly after unsuccessfully attempting to stop the hungry residents from scrambiling for the food.

The driver of the lorry christened "Nyarouth" said it had overturned after he lost control when the breaks failed.

It later emerged that the 100 bags of maize were destined for Kogelo village, the ancestral home of the United States President-Elect Barrack Obama in anticipation for the celebrations of his inauguration but they had been allegedly diverted to the home of the local politician.

At the local district procurement office, a store man who preferred to remain anonymous said he had released the maize to South Alego location as relief maize.

Elsewhere Mwea residents are urging the government to intervene and supply relief maize as most are faced with imminent starvation.

A spot check by KBC in the area revealed dry maize fields and desperate residents trying to bear the heat.

The giant Thiba River which is the supplier of irrigation water in the vast Mwea Rice Scheme is also drying up and residents now have to depend on water holes for survival.

The maize produce they should be harvesting this season is in a pathetic state and cannot be of any help unless used as fuel.

The rice produce has also diminished since last year when a mysterious crop disease wiped out thousands of acres under the crop while this year the harvest has largely been affected by lack of irrigation water.

School going children have dropped out and opt to stay at home as their parents scavenge in the rice fields for a few grains.

Murang'a South Member of Parliament Elias Mbau is now calling on his central province counterparts to put their heads together and seek a solution for their people.

Over 10 million people in the country are faced by starvation following the failure of the short rains.

The government last week painted a grim picture of the country's food situation noting that 8 billion shillings has been allocated, to increase maize importation by another 5 million bags to stem the shortfall.

The government has also set aside funds to purchase livestock from farmers.

"We will take up the burden of farmers by buying their livestock to save them from losses due to livestock deaths as a result of lack of forage owing to the debilitating drought," said Agriculture Minister William Ruto.

Comment: You can bet that what they pay the farmers is far from what the livestock is worth. Is it possible that they are putting a good face on a devious plan to take the remaining grazing lands from the farmers so they can continue on with their $350 million sugar project, or maybe even expand it?

The Ministry of Agriculture had projected a 28 million bags harvest last season, but this fell through, only realizing a meager 23 million bags of maize, against the national requirement of 32 million bags annually.

Those in dire straits, include 3 million people in the Arid and Semi Arid Lands - ASALS, another 2 million poor people ravaged by HIV and AIDS, 3 million urban poor in the urban and peri-urban areas, 1.7 million school going children and 150,000 people still living in Internally Displaced Peoples' camps.