Kenya provides 16 mln USD for drought mitigation amid hunger

Xinhua , Tuesday 1 Nov 2022

Kenyan President William Ruto said here Tuesday his government has allocated 2 billion shillings (16.47 million U.S. dollars) for food relief to counties affected by the severe drought across the country.

Change in climate in Marsabit county, Kenya
Pastoralists from the local Gabra community walk among carcasses of some of their sheep and goats on the outskirts of a small settlement called Kambi ya Nyoka (snake camp) suspected to have succumbed due to sudden change in climate in Marsabit county January 29, 2022. - A devastating drought in Kenya late-last year, that appeared to give way to flash storms that yielded flooding and chilly weather conditions in early 2022, has seen pastoral communities in the east african nation s arid north lose their livestock, first to drought and then floods and cold. AFP


Ruto said the government will also collaborate with development partners and the private sector to raise additional funds to tackle the crippling drought which has affected more than 4 million Kenyans.

"We are working with development partners to raise another 10 billion shillings (82.36 million dollars) to ensure no part of the country is unfairly affected by drought," Ruto made the remarks while being installed as the Patron of the Kenya Red Cross Society.

The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance currently stands at 4.35 million, a rise from 4.1 million in June, according to National Drought Management Authority (NDMA).

The NDMA said due to diminished pasture and water resources in most of the arid counties, mortalities across all livestock species namely camels, cattle, goats and sheep have increased.

Ruto said part of the new allocation will be channeled to support the animal offtake program through which the government buys weak livestock from pastoralists.

The president said half of the animals are slaughtered and the meat distributed to locals while the other half are taken to the Kenya Meat Commission where their meat is canned for distribution to schools.

Ruto said he was confident that the interventions being undertaken together with development partners and the private sector will save the lives of Kenyans in areas worst affected by the drought.

He said the Kenya Red Cross Society will continue playing an integral role in the efforts to mitigate the drought which has affected 20 of the 23 counties categorized as Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL).

Ruto also announced that 1.65 million dollars will be allocated to the Kenya Wildlife Service to undertake water trucking for wildlife in Kenya's national parks and reserves.

He said that even as the government leads efforts to respond to the drought emergency, it remains focused on plans to ensure a constant and predictable food supply in the future.

He said predictability in the supply of food is being ensured through the provision of cheap fertilizer and seeds, and the construction of enough dams to support irrigation among several other measures.

The president said that the government is also determined to put in place robust measures to combat climate change, which is the root cause of the adverse weather patterns around the world. 

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