, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 17 – Barclays Bank of Kenya on Wednesday announced the donation of Sh45 million to the Kenya Red Cross as part of a long term partnership towards combating drought in Kenya, dubbed ‘Epuka Njaa Milele’.
During the presentation of the cheque, BBK’s Managing Director Adan Mohammed underscored the importance of dealing with the problems of drought in the long term to ensure that Kenyans are food secure.
“This is the worst drought in about six decades and as a responsible corporate citizen we cannot just sit back and watch our brothers and sisters continue to suffer. We are making this bold move to make sure that future generations in the worst hit areas do not have to endure what their predecessors have had to go through,” he said.Sh34 million of the funds will be directed to the Kenya famine appeal while the remaining Sh11 million will be contributed to the other Horn of Africa countries, hard hit by the drought.
Mr Mohamed also announced that Barclay’s staff will continue with their initiatives dubbed the Partnership and Empowerment Against Hunger (PEAH) that has so far raised Sh4.4 million.
The employees partner with the customers and supporters by selling merchandise items like handkerchiefs, skipping lunch and shining shoes to raise the money.
Barclays Bank chairman Francis Okomo Okello who handed over the cheque to the Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross Abbas Gullet also urged the country to initiate proper policies to better manage the effects of climate change.
“Climate change as a phenomenon is a reality and it is high time we put aside the scientific arguments of what causes or what does not cause climate change and manage this reality,” he said.
“With the current drought, this Epuka Njaa Milele has therefore come at the right time when we can reflect on the practical actions we can implement to ensure that we are not victims of drought in the future,” he added.
Mr Gullet said that part of the money raised from the Kenyans for Kenya initiative will be put into long term projects for food sustainability in the affected areas.
“Hopefully, some of the money raised through the Kenyans for Kenya initiative will be used to look into long term solutions like agriculture alternative methods of farming like drip irrigation,” he said.
More contributions to the Kenyans for Kenya initiative are expected from the corporates on Thursday as the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) gear up to help the initiative hit the one billion shillings mark.