MANDERA, Kenya May 21 – The Mandera County Government has intensified relief food distribution to thousands of locals displaced by floods and other vulnerable families to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.
Residents have hailed the distribution sanctioned by Governor Ali Roba.
At Neboi, Mama Hodan Abdullahi Ibrahim, 35, hailed the county government for the supplies saying the rations came as a blessing to needy families during month of Ramadhan.
“I am among beneficiaries of 12.5 kilograms of rice, four kilograms of beans and three litres of cooking oil,” she said.
Mzee Shaban Hassan from Shafshafey said the food rations were being used during Iftar (breaking of fast) and had benefited more than 40 people in the area.
Mzee Hassan urged the county government to increase supplies to locals.
At Bulla Jamhuria, Abdiwahab Maalim Adan and Asad Yahya Osman said the food relief were nutritious and had prevented locals much suffering due to high food prices aggravated by closure between Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia due to COVID-19.
At Karomey village, Adan Abdikadir Sheikh, Ms Isha Alio Golicha and Fatuma Ibrahim Issack said the food supplies had helped reduce the high cost of living and food deficit due to the recent drought in the county and locust invasion.
Others who thanked the county government for the food distribution were Hawa Abdullahi Ibrahim and Lul Haji Hussein from Mandera Township, Ms Halima Ali Regiso and Asad Yayha Osman from Bulla Jamhuria and Khadija Guyo Ali and Halima Ahmed Ali from Shafshafey.
More than 8000 families affected by floods in Mandera are to benefit from the relief supplies from the county government.
Deputy Governor Mohamed Ahmed Arai on Monday flagged off trucks carrying the food rations including 102 tons of rice, 33 tons of beans and 25 tons of cooking oil to be issued to the families.
Speaking outside the county headquarters in Mandera town, Arai who was flanked by Abdinur Mohamed Hussein said each of the 8,229 families are to get 12.5 kilograms of rice, four kilograms of beans and three litres of cooking oil.
“The response interventions that are necessary to save the lives of our people and those of their livestock are immense. Accordingly, we call upon the national government, Non-Governmental Organisations and all other development partners to provide support to the families living along the riverine areas as it rains heavily in the Ethiopian highlands leading to more floods downstream in our county,” Mr Arai said.
The floods as a result of River Daua bursting its banks have uprooted hundreds of people from their farms and destroyed crops, disrupting livelihoods of farmers and sand harvesters living along the river.
Eight wards in the four sub-counties along River Daua have been adversely affected by the floods.
In Mandera North; Neboi Township, Khalalio and Libehia wards are the hardest hit while Mandera North, Rhamu and Rhamu Dimtu are the worst affected. In Lafey, Sala ward is most affected while in Banisa’s Malkamari ward the livelihoods of locals have been negatively affected.
According to the county’s Special Programmes team, 5437 people are to benefit from the food supply in Mandera East, Lafey (511), Mandera North (1694) and Banisa (587).
The deputy governor thanked the Mombasa County Government led by Governor Ali Hassan Joho for dolling out 19.7 tons of assorted foodstuff to Mandera residents in support of flood victims.
“He is indeed a friend of our county who moved to support us at our hour of need,” Mr Arai said.
Last week, Mandera Governor Ali Roba expressed concern over ravaging floods in Mandera despite lack of rains in the county as a result of heavy downpours on Ethiopian highlands, causing havoc downstream.
He said there was risk of transmission of Covid-19 in overcrowded makeshift shelters in displaced persons camps.
The county’s food security has also been threatened by recent drought, floods, locust invasion, ban of travel into and out of Mandera and the month of Ramadhan that has seen prices of food triple.
Mr Roba urged the Ministry of Devolution and Asals led by Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa to intervene and provide food and other support.