Kenya: government distributes food relief as part of 2 billion shillings drought response plan
Nairobi – The government on Wednesday reported food items, including feed, in drought-affected areas as part of a 2 billion shillings pledge announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta when he declared the situation national disaster on September 8.
Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said 10 counties are severely affected while 5 are at the alarm stage.
“This means that the drought worsens over time. One of the biggest challenges these counties face is the lack of water due to the lack of short rains from October to December of last year. and long rains from March to May. We have no water in most of these areas for animals and residents, “Wamalwa said after reporting the distribution at Uhuru Park in Nairobi.
“So today we are here to report the truckloads of animal feed that will go to these counties.”
The ministry also received support from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the European Union (EU) which contributed 380 million shillings and 500 million shillings respectively.
FAO Representative in Kenya, Carla Mucavi, said more than 2.1 million Kenyans are in urgent need of food and assured FAO’s commitment to continue to support the government.
“With the resources we were able to mobilize internally and the support we received from development partners, we purchased 32,000 bags of livestock feed just to support pastoral communities in the most affected counties. As FAO, we will continue to offer our support to over 2.1 million people affected by drought, ”said Mucavi.
Hard-hit counties include Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, Isiolo, Garissa, and Tana River.
The government is also offering cash transfers to the hardest hit residents in drought-stricken counties.
On September 8, the government declared the drought ravaging parts of the country a national disaster following a meeting between President Kenyatta and the leaders of the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands of Kenya (ASAL).
President Kenyatta asked the National Treasury and the national government’s Ministry of Interior and Coordination to lead the mitigation actions.
Drought has been declared in 29 counties classified as ASAL areas where food insecurity has been felt in recent months due to erratic rains.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared the drought affecting parts of the country a national disaster,” State House spokesman Kanze Dena said in a statement.
Counties classified as ASAL include Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu, Taita Taveta, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Kitui, Machakos, Makueni, Turkana, West Pokot, Samburu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Laikipia, Narok, Kajiado, Nyeri, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Embu, Migori, Homa Bay, Nakuru and Kiambu.
Dena said President Kenyatta had asked the two ministries to lead the government’s efforts to help affected households, including the distribution of water and food relief as well as the use of livestock.
ASALs represent 89 percent of the country and approximately 38 percent of Kenya’s population. ASAL regions are home to 70 percent of the national herd worth an estimated 70 billion shillings, but residents now see a bleak future due to the ongoing drought.