NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 20 – In the wake of the crippling drought experienced in 13 counties, the Council of Governors (CoG) has emphasised the need for the National Government in consultation with County Governments to formulate lasting solutions to address the issue especially those prone to drought.
In a statement, CoG Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya acknowledged the responsibility of both levels of government to guarantee the right of every Kenyan to have adequate food of acceptable quality and the freedom from hunger as envisaged in Article 43 of the Constitution.
“The council is saddened by the recent reports that have emerged highlighting the drought situation in the country,” he noted.
He added that the multi-faceted interventions will help deal with the various faces and implications of the drought crisis.
The efforts by counties to mitigate the effects of the drought include distribution to the affected households a total of 11,740 bags of maize, 1,500 bags of beans and 8,896 bags of rice.
Affected County Governments have mobilised water bowsers to distribute water to residents in the most affected sub-counties. Some 290,518 bales of animal feed have been procured and distributed in the affected areas and counties have immunized 241,938 children.
On Monday Deputy President William Ruto disbursed Sh1.4 billion of the Sh1.72 billion that’s required to facilitate the mitigation efforts in 13 counties which require immediate interventions to provide food and water for people and livestock.
The funds disbursed will used in coordinating relief activities in affected areas in the months of February, March and April 2019.
DP Ruto assured that there is no cause for alarm as Kenya remains stable in matters food security.
A total of 1,111,500 people are facing starvation and hundreds of livestock have also perished due to lack of water and pasture.
A report by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) states that the below-average short rains have slightly increased the food insecure population from 655,800 in August 2018 to the current 1,111,500 with the top 12 counties having a total of 865,300 food-insecure people.
Meanwhile the Meteorological Department has reported that it expects slightly above-average rainfall over most of the country from March through May.
The department has attributed the late start of the long-rains season partly to the Tropical Cyclone Idai that hit parts of Southern Africa which is likely to have negative impact on the agricultural sector leading to food insecurity.
The counties adversely affected include Turkana, Samburu, Wajir, Mandera, Garissa, Baringo, Kilifi, Tana River, West Pokot, Marsabit, Makueni and Kajiado.