NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19 – The government says half of the mitigation measures put in place to combat the effects of the current drought affecting the country includes cash transfer programs.
State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu explained that this will dignify those affected by the pandemic by giving them purchasing power.
Esipisu who was speaking from State House on Sunday indicated that other measures include the transportation of food relief to the most affected areas.
“The government prefers that 50 percent of its mitigation is done through cash transfers which enable people to have the purchasing power to decide what it is that they want to eat,” he stated.
“This also gives them a greater sense of dignity and with the other 50 percent, as a matter of urgency, the government will deliver food relief to those most affected by the drought,” he indicated.
He further stated that everything will be done to ensure that those affected by the drought are taken care of.
“We have not reached the critical level we had in 2011. We learnt from 2011 and have been building resilience. The whole thing about building water resources in Turkana for instance is based on the fact that we do realise that drought is not a one season event. It will recur,” he said.
“Also in terms of weather patterns, you will notice that in this particular round of drought, we are not the only ones affected.”
The government has already declared the current drought affecting 23 arid and semi-arid counties and pockets of other areas a national disaster.
Speaking after being briefed on the situation on the ground by Cabinet Secretaries involved in drought management and food security, President Uhuru Kenyatta called on all stakeholders to support the government by up-scaling drought mitigation programs.
He also called on the local and international partners to come in and support the government’s efforts to contain the situation which has not only affected human beings and livestock but also wild animals.
He said the government would fast-track and upscale its mitigation programs to ensure the situation is properly contained.
The Head of State at the same time gave a stern warning to all who are involved in food distribution that the government would take serious measures on those who would try take advantage of the situation to enrich themselves.
He directed that all purchases of food and other requirements should be done in a transparent and open manner and that all government agencies be involved to ensure Kenyans are not defrauded.
Already National Treasury has release the first tranche of Sh7.3 billion while the county governments have provided Sh2 billion.
The government intends to enhance the interventions including doubling of food rations and cash transfers among other measures.
It had stated that it will provide all resources at its disposal to combat the pandemic.
The government will also allow the importation of maize by licensed millers, a process which will be closely monitored to ensure transparency.