Wajir governor urges state to declare drought national disaster

Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi. [Denis Kibuchi, Standard]

Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi has appealed to President William Ruto to declare the ongoing drought a national disaster.

Governor Abdullahi who is the Council of Governors Vice Chairperson said this will enable the government to mobilize resources and various stakeholders to assist affected households with water and relief food distribution as well as livestock uptake.

Speaking during relief food distribution at the county headquarters on Monday, Abdullahi said that the drought in the country is at an alarming stage and more than 429,300 people are currently food insecure.

“We are requesting the President to officially declare the drought situation in our country a national disaster and get government machinery to prevent further loss of lives and livelihoods since in Wajir county alone 50 per cent of the population require relief food urgently,” said Abdullahi.

He noted that in order to cushion food insecure households against the biting drought and related shocks, the county had procured 42,000 bags of sifted maize floor, 7,367 cartons of vegetable cooking oil and 4,000 bags of beans from the national government.

Abdullahi said the food items will be distributed to the most vulnerable households through community based identification across the 30 wards in the six sub-counties to ensure that no resident dies of starvation.

Wajir Senator Mohamed Abass appealed to the government to waiver school fees for children from the arid and semi-arid lands whose families lost their livestock due to drought, which was their only source of livelihood gone.

Abass said that the only support that the government can give to citizens who are in a crisis is to ensure that they are able to take their children to school and be able to get basic food items to sustain them until the situation returns back to normal in most parts of the country.

“The only thing that our government can do is at least give school fees waivers to school going children from the areas that have heavily been affected by drought which has led to the loss of livelihood for their families,” said Abass.