Government, FAO sign action plan to alleviate drought in ASAL counties – Kenya News Agency
Kenya’s drought response plan requires a total of 9.4 billion shillings for the period July to November 2021, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said.
Of this amount, 5.8 billion shillings will be for food support and safety net and 3.6 billion shillings for non-food interventions.
Carla Mucavi, FAO Representative in Kenya, says the Organization is looking for a total of Sh1. 6 billion (US $ 15,007,460) to protect livestock assets and vulnerable pastoral households from the adverse effects of drought.
The money will be used to support intervention measures in the field of water for watering livestock and domestic use and to improve access to food and nutrition.
This will include the basic needs of agricultural households and the strengthening of the institutional and technical capacities of the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) for effective implementation of the early warning mechanism.
Mucavi was speaking during the signing of the action plan and anticipated response for pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in ASAL counties between FAO and the Ministry of Devolution and Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) .
The FAO representative said livelihood conditions have declined due to reduced access to pasture and the action plan will reduce the aggravated threat to food and nutrition security.
â56% of ASAL counties reported increased trekking distances to water sources for livestock and domestic use and this is expected to worsen in the coming months, hence the need for action. urgent anticipation â, she declared
The affected ASAL communities are Samburu, Isiolo, Turkana, Garissa, Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir and Tana River.
This is a response to an alert sent in June 2021, where 12 of 23 ASAL counties were on drought alert, while 16 reported a downtrend which is an abnormal event at the immediate end. of the season.
Cabinet Secretary (CS) for the Ministry of Devolution and Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) Eugene Wamalwa said the call for proactive action will go a long way in building resilience of communities in the counties affected.
“The government welcomes the support and collaboration of partners such as FAO to address this situation and urgent action and a coordinated response is needed from donors and other relevant stakeholders before the situation unfolds. deteriorates further, “said the CS.
According to current drought indicators, around two million people in ASAL counties are now in need of assistance and this number is likely to increase as the situation worsens.
“There is a severe vegetation deficit in Isiolo County and Lagdera de Garissa sub-county, while the rest of Garissa and Kilifi, Marsabit, Tana River and Wajir counties report a moderate vegetation deficit” , says FAO.
The proportion of children at risk of malnutrition is also already above average in seven ASAL counties of Embu, Taita Taveta, Makueni, Narok, Kajiado, Meru, Nyeri.
On top of that, families are now forced to travel longer distances to access water for domestic use and for livestock as water sources have dried up.
The 2020 short rains assessment found that the season had gone poorly and that by February 2021, 1.4 million people in ASAL counties were already acutely food insecure.
This situation has been exacerbated by other factors, including the Covid-19 pandemic, the locust invasion, soaring food prices and livestock diseases.
Since then, the long rains of March-May 2021 have also underperformed and the start of the season has been late with less than normal rainfall amount in most of the ASAL counties and its distribution in space. and over time.
By Wangari Ndirangu