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Treasury to release Sh2 billion to help drought victims

NEWS
By Moses Nyamori | September 10th 2021

 

Man relocates his cows as he walks in the scorching sun from his home in Kajiado County to look for pasture [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

National Treasury will today release Sh2 billion as government moves to provide relief food and other emergency support to families affected by drought ravaging several counties.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani yesterday said the allocation will be disbursed to Devolution Ministry to begin mobilising food, water and other necessities. Yattani assured that there was enough food in the country’s grain reserve to provide the needed emergency response.

The allocation comes barely a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the prolonged drought a national disaster. Uhuru also instructed Treasury and Interior ministries to spearhead government’s response in providing emergency food and water to the affected families.

“The money is there and it has been budgeted for and we are going to release tomorrow to the relevant implementing Ministry of Devolution,” said the CS.

He said trucks belong to Kenya Defence Forces and the National Youth Service (NYS) have been mobilised to supply water to the affected region. The CS further said that Kenya Meat Commission has been instructed to begin livestock uptake as a way of cushioning affected farmers.

Yesterday, Kenya Red Cross Society disclosed that a total of 2.1 million people were suffering from the adverse effects of the prolonged drought. The society projected the number to rise to three million people by December. Currently, a total of nine counties are affected with the number expected to rise to 23 by early next year.

The society’s Secretary-General Asha Mohammed said the situation has continued to worsen for the last five months.

“The number of people affected has risen from 1.4 million in March to over 2.1 million currently and it is projected to rise to 3 million by December,” said the society in a statement.

Dr Mohammed said weather forecast by Kenya Meteorological Department indicating that the October-November December rains will be inadequate is likely to worsen the current food security situation.

“The food security situation continues to be at a worsening trend in the Arid and Semi-Arid (ASAL) counties attributed mainly to the poor performance of the October-November-December 2020 short rains and the March-April-May 2021 long rains,” said Dr Mohammed.

The inadequate rains have resulted to poor vegetation in arid and semi-arid lands occasioning starvation of hundreds of livestock.

“With these factors in mind it is imperative that greater resources are mobilised and directed towards supporting the communities affected by the drought,” she said.

The society commits to assist the affected families through food distribution even as they call for humanitarian partners to aid in resource mobilisation.

It targets to support about 500,000 people – at least100,000 households – with various interventions including food distribution, cash transfers, health, water and sanitation services.

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