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Emergency assistance to the most vulnerable drought affected

Makueni County Commissioner (CC) Beverly Opwora and Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr have emphasized the need for the County Steering Group (CSG) committee to coordinate all donations meant to mitigate effects of drought among the affected residents in the area.

Opwora said the coordination of the food relief would help in ensuring the neediest people benefited.

County Commissioner said through the CSG, the two levels of government would know the kind of interventions the people needed hence avoid duplication of efforts in provision of the food relief.

Further, the administrator said the coordination would also help in coming up with one master plan list that would assist in identifying the needy cases that would also be used by partners in reaching to the vulnerable people in need of food.

“As two levels of government, we need to coordinate all our efforts both from the government and partners in providing food relief through one point so that the most needy people benefit and avoid duplication of efforts,” said Opwora in a CSG drought risk management meeting that they co-chaired with Kilonzo at the County Social hall in Wote town on Tuesday.

The meeting had been called to assess the ongoing drought interventions in terms of food aid, water, livestock, education and health, establish committee receiving relief food, overseeing targeting and distribution.

The meeting was to come up with a mechanism of monitoring and evaluation with the view to assess the impact of the interventions in the county.

Speaking in the same meeting, the governor asked the Deputy County Commissioners (DCCs) and Sub-county administrators in the 9 sub-counties to ensure they have a budget and plans on how to mitigate the drought effects in their areas of jurisdiction.

He disclosed that the submission of the budgets would help the two levels of government to know the kind of interventions to be taken to each Sub County and also the number of people affected by the drought which has prevailed for the last four seasons.

“I urge the Sub County administrators and DCCs to come up with a joint budget before Friday to help the government to mitigate the drought effects affecting our people,” he said.

The two leaders assured wananchi that nobody would die due to drought in the county as the County and national governments have already intervened.

During the meeting, the stakeholders agreed that water trucking would be taken to water pans within Chyulu national park to alleviate the problem of human/wildlife conflict that has increased due to elephants venturing out of the parks to look for water.

It should be observed that 22,889 households in 8 wards that are in dire need in three constituencies will benefit from over Sh120 million funded by the American Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) for the next one year to alleviate hunger following prolonged drought in the area.

The programme that will be implemented under the Kenya Integrated Emergency Response Project II (KIERP) II targets Thange, Masongaleni, Nzambani/Ivingoni and Mtito Andei Wards in (Kibwezi East), Kalawa ward (Mbooni) and Kitise/Kithuki, Kathozweni and Mavindini wards (Makueni) constituencies that are worst hit by the prevailing drought.

Another partner, Action Aid is also providing food and water to 26 boarding schools in Kitise/Kithuki ward for the next 55 days besides training the community to cope with the drought effects.

By Patrick Nyakundi

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