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Mandera county launch food aid for vulnerable families

Education CS Ezekiel Machogu Flags off a consignment of relief food for primary schools affected by drought conditions at the Kenya institute of Curriculum Development on Wednesday, November 2, 2022. [Samson wire, Standard]

About 60,000 households in Mandera are set to benefit from the county’s relief food.

This is after seven hundred and fifty metric tons of foodstuffs and 180,000 litres of cooking oil were flagged off by the county government to be distributed to vulnerable households and people living with disabilities across the county.

The countywide emergency relief food that was officially launched by governor  Mohamed Kalif aims at assisting households that are affected by the ravaging long drought across the nine sub-counties.

Other beneficiaries include boarding secondary schools, special needs groups, special needs schools and registered orphanage centers.

Before mapping out and identifying the neediest in the ongoing drought, the county has ascertained their situation of the current drought, food insecurity, and impact on their livelihood and economic activities.

The program that was presided over by Mandera county commissioner, Onesmus Kyatha comes at a time when President William Ruto recently announced a release of 2 billion to mitigate the effect of drought in affected counties across the country.

Governor Khalif said the long drought has affected the economy at large and left more than one and half million livestock lost in the dry period.

“We have lost over 365,000 cattle, 30,000 donkeys, 500,000 goats, and 160,000 camels. The monetary value of livestock lost is over Sh11 billion, equivalent to our annual allocation from the national government”, he said.

According to rapid assessment report conducted by Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG), 500, 000 people have been left in dire need of emergency relief food and water.

The ongoing drought has affected most of the learning institutions in the far-flung areas of Mandera county forcing learners to miss classes as they travel to distant places in search of food and water.

Mandera governor said many schools are experiencing financial strain since parents cannot not afford to pay their children’s fees and as a result schools are unable to provide food to the learners.

The hunger crisis has also led to lack of concentration and malnutrition which could have a long-lasting impact on the education sector.

He said the food distribution will continue for one week to all identified beneficiary households.