Kenya Drylands Education Fund (Kdef) has presented shopping vouchers to 1,200 university students whose parents lost livestock to the prolonged drought.
Beneficiaries are drawn from Samburu and Marsabit counties which were worst hit by the drought.
According to the fund’s Country Director Ahmed Kura, each of the learners received a voucher worth Sh2,500 to enable them to do shopping.
“Many families in Marsabit and Samburu counties are undergoing hard times after losing livestock due to the prolonged drought and it is hard for them to send funds to their sons and daughters in school," he said.
Kura said the token will help in the provision of food to the affected families. “We have decided to slash a little portion of provision to benefit university students in colleges in Meru, Nakuru, and Eldoret through vouchers,” he explained.
Speaking in Nakuru City where he handed over the vouchers to the students who converged there, Kura said the organisation will continue to monitor the students and offer support where necessary.
Samburu University Students Association President Komelo Lolmodoni, said his colleagues appreciate the support from Kdef, saying it came in handy.
“At least comrades are assured of a meal for the next few days. We thank Kdef for the voucher offered, and we welcome any other support from them,” said Lolmodoni.
Mercy Leyagu, a student said many nomadic students have suffered due to the prolonged drought that affected the Arid and Semi-Arid regions.
Randile University Students Association leader Lucy Saito challenged both the national and county governments to come up with more practicable, and permanent solutions to intervene in the drought situations in affected counties.
“We cannot keep on depending on donations and vouchers, both the national and county governments must come together and address the situation in our counties for prosperity,” She said.
Another student, Silvester Leiroya said over dependence on livestock as the main source of livelihood has worked against the community during drought.
Leiroya called on the communities in those counties to explore other sources of livelihood, saying the local leaders need to safeguard the future generation by coming up with innovative ideas that would turn around the situation.
“As students, we are suffering because our parents have depended on livestock to sustain us. The livestock were wiped out by drought, we are suffering,” he said.
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After being presented with the vouchers, the students went on a shopping spree at a local supermarket. Most of them were seen shopping for food items, which they lamented were expensive.