Government spends Ksh1.8bn towards drought mitigation

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Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has dispelled claims that the drought situation in the country is dire.

Wamalwa says that so far, the government has instituted a raft of measures to ensure 1.1 million Kenyans affected receive relief food and water even as the government looks into ways of finding a long-lasting solution to the perennial disaster.

Wamalwa while updating the country on the drought situation said the situation is serious but not dire compared to the 2017 season.

He said the Government has so far availed Ksh.1.85 billion to help affected people across 13 counties mostly in the North of Kenya.

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“The drought situation remains serious with 13 Counties most affected being Turkana, Mandera, Marsabit, Garissa, Baringo, Kilifi, Tana River, West Pokot, Isiolo, Wajir, Samburu, Kwale and Makueni,” he said.

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He says the Government has put in place various mitigation strategies among them water tracking with the ministry of water having received Ksh680 million and that of agriculture Ksh600.

Ksh 602 Million has been released to the Ministry of Devolution for relief food out of which 26,200 bags maize have been distributed so far, 15,420 bags of rice and 17,060 bags of beans.

Wamalwa further expressed fears that Eastern parts of the country will receive depressed long rains as predicted by the Kenya Meteorological Services hence the drought situation might not improve even after the long rains.

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“Let us first take this opportunity to assure Kenyans that though the drought situation does not seem to be improving and could possibly worsen as reported by the experts, the Government has set aside enough resources and put in place the necessary remedial measures to ensure that there is enough food and water for all affected Kenyans to prevent any loss of life due to drought” he assured.

He regretted that the situation may worsen if the long rains delay with more people needing relief supplies due to widespread crop failure.

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The weatherman has said that most parts of the country will continue experiencing dry weather conditions as the effects of delayed March-April-May rains continue to be felt.

Meanwhile, agriculture cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has assured Kenyans that there is enough maize to last the country for a period of three months.

They were speaking in Nairobi after of the cabinet sub-committee on drought that comprises of over 10 ministries.

The CS says there will be an enhancement in coordination and interventions by both levels of government across sectors of Agriculture, Livestock, Water, Health and Nutrition, Education, Peace and Security, drought coordination and food distribution.

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