Phase II drought mitigation program scheduled for next week – Kenya News Agency
The government has earmarked a total of 450 million shillings for the second phase program to alleviate drought in the 23 Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) counties starting next week.
To date, the government has reached at least 225,705 beneficiary households in the affected counties, through the Emerging Relief Cash Transfer which was part of Phase I of the program launched in December 2021 and received the same amount of money.
The Principal Secretary (PS), Department of State for Social Welfare, Elderly Affairs and Special Programs, Mr. Nelson Marwa said that despite the challenges faced in delivering the emerging drought relief cash transfer in the country, the government was able to distribute physical foods as an emergency response.
“I can assure you that no Kenyan died of starvation, coordination was very successful with the national government partnering with county governments to address the drought issue,” he said.
The PS spoke on Monday during the SemaNaSpox virtual weekly update on government interventions to mitigate the impact of drought in the country, hosted by government spokesperson Colonel (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna and the acting director of the National Water Management Authority Drought (NDMA), Saiyana Lembara, held at the Media Center, Telposta Towers.
He added that Kenyans in ASAL regions and other drought affected areas including Kieni (Nyeri), Nyatike (Nyanza), the coastal region which included Taita Taveta among others have been relieved from food distress.
Marwa said the government was using the slogan “Buy Kenya Build Kenya” to buy food in unaffected counties like Mwea Irrigation Scheme and Kano Plains where he bought rice and in Kitui where he bought green grams to take home to drought-affected areas. emergency food.
He said that to ensure resources reach the targeted group, the government has set up three command centers to monitor the process, of which there have been no complaints.
The PS said the government is keen for each county to be self-reliant in the future, reducing the number of drought-affected people and urged communities in affected areas to take advantage of the drought situation to learn lessons. and prepare well for the future. .
“To name a few, places like Katiru in Turkana and Todonyang’ are good examples of government interventions that today allow them to irrigate and produce their food despite the drought,” the PS said.
Marwa cited water trucking to provide water for livestock and domestic use and the offloading scheme which aims to offload very weak livestock from farmers for a fee as some of the government’s short term interventions .
In his remarks, Lembara, said the government is making more efforts to ensure that in the next five years, long-term interventions are put in place.
He said that keeping in mind that lack of moisture leads to chronic water shortage, the government is looking forward to having water reservoirs like big dams to store water for more than three month.
The G. The director announced that the government is implementing strategies to improve adaptability during drought situations, mentioning borehole solarization as one of the strategies.
In terms of infrastructure development, he said, Isiolo’s road network has improved, a move he says has allowed people in the area to save time while doing their business. .
He listed other long-term interventions like sustainable livelihoods and drought risk management for early warning system to help rapid response.
“There are many programs going on to help people better understand nutrition, and also to enable them to learn and understand climate change,” Lembara said, adding that NDMA is working with research companies to find out which crops may fit in certain areas and also the type of livestock breed to keep.
Colonel Oguna said that the government has achieved 40% of the long-term interventions to alleviate the drought in the country and in the future most of the counties will be independent.
“Government cannot stop drought, it can only mitigate the effects of drought,” Oguna said and urged Kenyans to develop a culture of water harvesting to avoid suffering during drought seasons. .
The government spokesperson said that human capital development, which involves health and education, as well as peace and security, are also other interventions used to mitigate the drought in the country.
Oguna said that although the media has been at the forefront of informing the public about what is happening around, the media should also be consistent and inform the public about the post-crisis recovery process.
By Catherine Muindi