, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 18 – The Kenyans4Kenya initiative on Thursday raised Sh40 million from a number of Small and Medium Enterprises during a funds drive held in Nairobi.
Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet said the money that will remain after responding to the current emergency will be channelled to long term food projects.
“Whatever will remain, we will look into medium and long-term projects like water. We will dig boreholes or earth dams,” he said.
Mr Gullet called for the provision of good quality seeds and modern methods of farming to facilitate production of food with or without rains.
Demonstrating working examples of how quality seeds were given to farmers in dry regions in Eastern Province, he said it was possible to ensure food security throughout the country.
“We are not doing enough as a nation in totality on water harvesting and water management. It really shows in this country poverty eradication and food security can be done, it is not rocket science,” he asserted.
Meanwhile, the organisers of the Kenyans4Kenya initiative called on corporate organisations which pledged donations of up to Sh334 million to honour them, to enable them implement emergency assistance.
Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore who is among the executives leading the initiative told a press conference that they only have Sh274 million in cash which was donated through MPESA, KCB and other initiatives.
“There is little that can be done unless the corporate organisations honour their pledges. Up to Sh334 million has not been paid up,” he said and added that they were “finding it difficult to order for food items because most suppliers are demanding cash before any delivery.”
He said the total amount of money including the amount paid and pledges stood at Sh609 million.
He said the initiative would not stop at offering emergency assistance to the people of Northern Kenya but will be extended to undertaking long term projects to mitigate future droughts.
“This is perhaps the largest fundraising to be held here in Kenya and the most transparent. We want to ensure that more long term projects are done instead of just responding to the emergency,” he added.
The Kenyan media has joined hands with the corporate sector to raise Sh500 million by the end of this month for drought stricken Kenyans.
The initiative brought together the Media Owners Association, Safaricom and KCB Foundations among other organisations that have joined along the way.
Kenya Red Cross Society was delegated to manage the fund that will be used to purchase and distribute relief supplies to the drought stricken Kenyans.
An estimated 3.5 million Kenyans are faced with starvation and the situation has been worsened by the entry of Somali immigrants fleeing drought in their country.
Counties affected most include Turkana, Marsabit, Wajir and Mandera. A previous initiative by the Kenya Red Cross Society in January this year raised only 20 percent of the funds targeted.
Donations can be sent through the M-PESA Pay Bill number 111 111 at no charge or account number 11 33 33 33 38 at KCB.
Already several tracks of food have been dispatched to the most affected people.