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Government sets aside Sh1.2b to assist drought-hit counties

NATIONAL
By Jacinta Mutura | October 14th 2021
Omar Aden Qassim stands in between carcasses of his dead livestock in Liboi sub-county in Garissa. [Courtesy]

The government has set aside Sh1.2 billion to buy food supplies for Kenyans in 23 drought-stricken counties.

Government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said the allocation will benefit counties likely to experience drought through November.

Garissa, Isiolo, Kilifi, Kitui, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River and Wajir are listed as counties with high risk drought, hence requiring more intervention.

However, the drought status in Baringo, Turkana, Kajiado, Kwale, Laikipia, Lamu, Makueni, Meru, Taita Taveta, Tharaka Nithi and West Pokot counties has been classified as moderate while Embu, Narok and Nyeri are low risk areas.

Oguna said the European Union has given Sh500 million to mitigate the effects of the drought.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has also given Sh380 million for the purchase of cattle feeds while World Food Programme has contributed Sh500 million to help in provision of assorted relief.

Oguna said the UN system in the country launched an appeal for local and international help amounting to Sh13.9 billion after President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the on-going drought a national disaster.

“We want to assure Kenyans that the government is fully in control of the situation and the plan for intervention beyond December 2021 is ready as government continues to mobilise resources to mitigate the situation,” he added.

Other interventions made in food-insecure counties include upscaling the funds transfer project dubbed Hunger Safety Net targeting Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit and Turkana counties by exceeding the targeted 100,000 households receiving Sh4,500.

Oguna said the deployment of resources into the new year will depend on status of rains in the coming days. 

“We will be moving from distribution of physical food to vulnerable families to cash transfer once infrastructure is established so as to ensure the process is seamless," said Oguna.

He further dismissed fears that Huduma Namba would be used in next year’s General Election.

Oguna said out of 11.2 million cards that have been processed so far, Kenyans have only collected 6.5 million cards.

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