The government officially began distribution relief supplies following the release of Ksh2 billion by the Treasury under the National Drought Emergency Fund.
The outgoing Devolution and ASAL Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa who officially launched the exercise in Kilifi county said they have formed three teams to ensure distribution goes in the Coast, North Eastern, and Rift Valley which are hardest hit by the pandemic.
Kenya is facing drought as a result of the short rains that failed between October and December 2020 similarly the long rains expected between March and May 2021 were below average across the country particularly in the Northern and Coast regions.
So far over 10 counties are affected heavily and they include Turkana, Marsabit, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Isiolo, Samburu, Tana River, Kilifi and Lamu.
Started my 3 day final tour of duty of Asal Counties of @KilifiCountyKE today, @WajirCountyKE tomorrow and @Baringo_county on Friday to address drought mitigation and resilience building issues, before moving to the Ministry of Defence. pic.twitter.com/rKONsEPXKH
— Eugene L. Wamalwa (@EugeneLWamalwa) October 6, 2021
President Uhuru Kenyatta who is currently in the United States of America declared the drought as a national disaster and directed the treasury to release Sh. 2 billion immediately to buy relief food for families affected by the drought.
Speaking at Chakama and Bofu in Magarini constituency Wamalwa who was accompanied by Devolution CAS Gideon Mung’aro said the relief food for the Coast region was bought from the Galana Kulalu food security project while the food for other areas was bought from the National Cereals board.
“The president has directed his cabinet secretaries to move out of their offices in Nairobi and stay in the villages he wants them to go and stay in the villages with the people to distribute food, water, and livestock feeds,” he said.
The CS said already the government has allocated Sh. 500 million through National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) to ensure they partner with counties to supply water.
Counties he said will provide water boozers while the NDMA will provide fuel for enabling the transportation and distribution of water to drought-stricken areas.
He said Mung’aro will lead the distribution exercise in the Coast region to ensure all affected victims in Kilifi, Kwale, Tana River, Taita Taveta, and Lamu get relief food.
“We agreed not to bring food from Kitale where Wamalwa comes from, we have a big farm here at Galana Kulalu which is in Kilifi and Tanariver, we want the food being produced in Galana to feed people of Kilifi during this disaster period,” he said adding that the same maize will feed Tanariver people.
The maize from NCPB he said will feed people of Wajir, Mandera, and other parts of the country.
At the same time, he urged residents to ensure they register as voters in the ongoing mass registration voters going on right now so as to enable them chose the leaders of their choice in the online General elections.
On his part, Mung’aro said he would undertake the exercise for the next three weeks to ensure all those affected by drought get food.
He said 10,500 bags of Maize are from Galana Kulalu food security project and will be distributed in the Coast region.
The CAS directed the chiefs and Assistant county commissioners together with DCCs to ensure they coordinate the relief distribution at the grassroots level and set aside some for school children.
“I will be everywhere where relief distribution exercise will be done all over the region to avoid cases of corruption during the process,” he said.
The Relief food programs come at a time when drought victims in Kilifi had resorted to wild fruits for survival as there was nothing to eat due to the drought that has hit the area.
Reporting by Dickson Wekesa