, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 – National Government Spokesperson Eric Kiraithe has said the country is expected to fully recover from drought in the next three months.
Kiraithe who spoke to Capital FM News at his Nairobi office on Thursday said the current food insecurity situation in Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASAL) – which the United Nations says affects 3.5 million people – was being tackled through concerted efforts by government agencies.
“We’re carrying the weight of a three-year drought. Whereas the rains have started coming in several parts of the country, the dividends of resumption of rains have not yet been felt in very many areas but after two to three months we expect the matter to come almost back to normal,” he said.
He however said that the government will continue supporting school feeding programmes to cushion school-going children against malnutrition.
According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Kenya Humanitarian Report published on August 4, some 1.6 million children are said to be at risk of starvation mostly in 23 ASAL counties.
“So far government relief efforts are ongoing. We’re giving nutritional support through school feeding programmes in affected areas to ensure that no child lacks education because of lack of food,” Kiraithe said.
With the UNICEF estimates of children under the age of five facing Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) placed at 104,614 and school dropouts at 174,954, Kiraithe said measures were in place to ensure all children, including those displaced as a result of conflicts, are able to access education and regular meals.
The government spokesperson said efforts are being made in collaboration with strategic partners to suppress the outbreak of diseases such as cholera as a result of inadequate safe drinking water, UN statistics indicating that some 2.7 million people are unable to access Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services.
“The exposure to communicable diseases is there but the measures so far by the government and other partners have ensured we don’t have large-scale outbreaks apart from some cases in Nairobi which have been managed.”