Cabinet gives Sh17 million November salary to drought relief kitty

A boy walks in a field of carcases of this father's animals in Ijara, Garissa County. Prolonged drought in several areas in the North has affected the lives of all living things. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

The Cabinet has given Sh17 million, its entire salary for November, to the drought relief kitty.

This is after the Cabinet unanimously resolved to forego one-month salary during its 3rd session held on November 29 when it was appraised of the drought situation in the country.

Through a letter sent to the Secretary of the National Steering Committee on Drought Response Murimi Murage, the Secretary to the Cabinet Mercy Wanjau confirmed that more than Sh17 million had been transferred to the response kitty.

“A sum total of seventeen million, three hundred and forty-eight thousand, six hundred and fifty-six shillings, being the sum total of collective contribution of all members of the Cabinet, is being processed and will be wired to the National Drought Mitigation Appeal Fund in due course,” reads the letter dated December 5.

The National Steering Committee on Drought Response has received more than Sh590 million in just a week after the launch of the appeal for donations to boost ongoing hunger-mitigation measures in the hardest hit regions.

Kenya needs at least Sh17 billion between now and January for mitigation measures across the affected regions.

On November 21, the President, via a Special Gazette Notice, constituted the 15-member committee which then launched a nationwide appeal, Wakenya Tulindane, to Kenyans to make donations in cash or kind to help those on the brink of starvation in at least 21 counties severely affected by prolonged drought.

The appeal is to cushion more than four million Kenyans who are in dire need of food following a severe drought that has hit close to half of the counties. The drought has been occasioned by failed rainfall over the last four years with fears of a similar pattern extending to next year.

Those wishing to donate to the appeal fund can do so via M-pesa PayBill 880990 using their name as the account number or via the National Drought Mitigation Appeal Fund under KCB Bank, Riverside branch through account number 1305486137. The PayBill is also available to Airtel Money and Telkom’s T-Kash subscribers.

The committee is also looking at alternative ways to address the current emergency situation with the National Drought Management Authority stating that it costs up to Sh6,000 to feed a family for one month.