This is how you can help to save lives of our brothers and sisters

The spirit of harambee, which predates our independence, continues to be our undisputed rallying call, serving as a unifying force whenever the need arises. At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, many Kenyan families and neighbours came together, shared food and other resources, conveyed health information, cared for children and the sick or elderly and provided mental and emotional support to one another.

It is this spirit that I am urging us to tap into, to extend a helping hand to our brothers and sisters bearing the brunt of the extended drought. It is important to understand the gravity of the situation, particularly in the ASAL. Approximately 65 per cent of agricultural produce has failed and over 2.6 million livestock have died.

The situation is dire and requires immediate attention. I urge you to contribute to the Drought Mitigation Appeal Fund via paybill 880990 which is available across all mobile networks, through KCB Bank account number 1305486137 or by dialing *126# to donate Bonga points. This will enable the steering committee to continue providing immediate and crucial relief to these families. No amount is too little.

Thanks to the support we have received from Kenyans so far, we have been able to distribute food to over 85,800 Kenyans in Samburu, Marsabit, Kitui, Kilifi and Meru counties. We are finalizing plans to continue distributing food worth over Sh200 million across the 23 hardest-hit counties.

Similarly, we are keen to have partnerships for a long-term perspective. Partnerships for public purposes open up the model to include a diversity of stakeholders for sustainable, long-term, and systemic impact. This approach will enable us to harness technical expertise from agricultural and subject matter experts, government networks, private sector financiers, donor agencies and civil society to provide innovative and holistic approaches to strengthen the resilience in the ASAL and help protect livelihoods. For a start, we are getting into a partnership with the Kenya Defence Forces that will see them rehabilitate 192 boreholes in 30 counties.

Ms Devji is a Member of the National Steering Committee on Drought Response and Group CEO of Diamond Trust Bank.