A total of 4.35 million Kenyans are currently affected by drought among them 960,000 children who are malnourished and are in dire need of food.
East African Community, Arid and Semi-Arid Lands and Regional Development Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano says nine counties including Kilifi, Mandera, Marsabit, Turkana, Isiolo, Wajir, Samburu, Kitui and Kajiado are the worst hit.
“This is the worst drought in four decades and there is a need to scale up the mitigation measures put in place,” Miano told journalists during a press conference in her office on Wednesday, January 11.
The Cabinet Secretary added that Garissa, Lamu, Laikipia and Tharaka Nithi counties were in the alert situation while Baringo and West Pokot have slid from alert to warning situation.
At the same time, the government has revealed that 2.5 million wildlife are also affected as pasture and livestock deteriorate in Kajiado and Kwale counties.
“The mitigation by the government has not failed as we have already spent Sh1 billion between December and January 2023 on buying livestock from the affected areas. We have also involved various partners in scaling up drought interventions,” Miano added.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer of the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) Hared Hassan said that Kenya was the worst hit country by the drought among the East African Countries.
Hassan encouraged farmers in the affected areas to sell off their cattle to government agencies including Kenya Meat Commission so as not to suffer losses in case the drought situation persists.
So far, President William Ruto has rolled out various drought intervention mechanisms that include distribution of relief food and cash transfers to the affected families.
The Kenya Kwanza government has also vowed to ensure no life is lost as a result of the famine.
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