Kshs 1.85 billion released towards drought mitigation; Food distribution still ongoing

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Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa speaking to the press
Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa speaking to the press

Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa has said the government has reached all the Counties affected by drought countrywide, and distributed food aid and is seeking to improve access to water. Speaking to the press on Wednesday accompanied by other CSs, CS Wamalwa said in the last two weeks, they’ve been able to distribute over 26,200 bags of maize, 15,420 bags of rice, 17,000 bags of beans and oil to the affected families, and that food distribution is still ongoing. A total of Kshs 1.85 billion has been released to the relevant Ministries towards drought mitigation efforts so far.

The ongoing drought has affected 13 Counties, Turkana, Mandera, Marsabit, Garissa, Baringo, Kilifi, Tana River, West Pokot, Isiolo, Wajir, Samburu, Kwale and Makueni, “We are talking of a population of about 1.1 million Kenyans who are facing a very serious situation that has necessitated serious government interventions to ensure they get relief in terms of food and water,” he said.

He said the government is also doing water trucking through the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) to ensure that the affected families can also access water. He urged County governments that haven’t set up emergency funds to deal with emergency situations to do so. He lauded Governors, in keeping with that, for reiterating commitment to allocate resources in a recent meeting through a budgetary process to ensure enough funds are in the Counties to be able to increase the response level.

He said money has been released to the Ministries of Agriculture and Water to help deal with the situation. However, he said the rain season may delay and it may as well pose another challenge, “But as government, we are prepared for any eventuality in terms of setting aside enough resources and in terms of putting in place the necessary interventions and remedial measures to deal with the situation.”