By PSCU/Beth Nyaga
President Uhuru Kenyatta will this week formally launch cash payouts to support pastoralists to purchase fodder and animal feed for their stock until the drought comes to an end.
Vulnerable pastoralists in Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Tana River, Turkana and Wajir counties will benefit from the Sh215 million payout.
The payments under the Kenya Livestock Insurance Programme will target 12,604 registered pastoralist households in the seven counties. 2,503 pastorislts in Turkana that are registered under the program were paid last month.
State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu made the announcement today when he said the Government will enhance the measures to mitigate the drought affecting 23 counties.
He said water trucking in the 23 affected counties has been enhanced and the Government has rehabilitated boreholes experiencing pressure due to long hours of pumping water.
Mr Esipisu, who briefed the Press at Sagana State Lodge, also cited the animal off take programme where the Government is buying off animals and slaughtering them for the pastoralists. The aim of the off take project is to put capital in the pocket of the pastoralists so that they can restock when the drought ends.
“As I had mentioned last week, in terms of provision of food, the administration has doubled up food rations to feed 3 million people, up from an initial figure of 1.3 million Kenyans. We are doing this through special programmes,” said Mr Esipisu
At the same time, the State House Spokesperson spoke on the security situation in Baringo and Laikipia.
He said there has been a tremendous improvement in the security of Baringo and Marakwet after the Government launched security operations in the region.
“To respond to the skirmishes, the number of officers in the area have been increased. In Marakwet, there are 4 new camps that have been opened.On the other hand in Baringo, we have substantially increased the number of officers,” he said.
Esipisu said there have been no incidents in Laikipia besides the one where a lodge was torched by herders reportedly in retaliation for tough police actiion.
The Government’s efforts to mitigate the drought have found support from Kenyans as well from foreign nations.
Last week, the United Arab Emirates donated 150 tones of foodstuff worth Sh20 million.
More donors are committing themselves to make donations either through the Kenya Red Cross Society or directly to the government.