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Governor appeals for support amid drought situation

Kwale County Government will partner with the Kenya Red Cross Society to jointly respond to the ongoing drought in the region.

Governor Fatuma Achani who chairs the County Drought Coordination Committee says the ravaging drought has exposed 200,000 people spread in Kinango, Lunga Lunga, Samburu, Matuga and Shimba Hills sub counties to biting hunger.

The county boss has convened a number of meetings with sub county level drought response committees to ensure all affected people are reached with food aid.

She called for more support from humanitarian agencies in tackling the drought situation that has ruined harvests and killed livestock in the region.

“We need all hands on deck and adequate resources mobilised as the current prolonged drought worsens,” she said and called on well-wishers to chip in and help the county to save the people who are currently facing food shortages.

She spoke in Kwale town accompanied by Red Cross Kwale branch chairperson Mwanaharusi Hamisi.

Ms Achani said her administration will work closely with the Red Cross and other humanitarian agencies in supporting vulnerable communities, distribute food and embark on long term projects to reduce the number of people facing acute food insecurity due to the recurring drought.

“As the new patron of the Red cross Kwale Chapter, I assure my support to the ongoing humanitarian response. We’ll continue to partner in emergency response, drought interventions, resilience building and other aspects that are of great importance to the development of our county,” said Achani.

On her part, Hamisi said in this year’s drought intervention, Red Cross has distributed 36 tons of nutritional supplements to all health facilities as well as targeting 1,500 farmers to benefit from drought resistant seed varieties to boost food production.

“In partnership with the County Government of Kwale, we have 412 youths drawn from all the sub counties and supported each with a livelihood project,” said Hamisi, adding, before the end of the year, the Red Cross Kwale branch will organise a fundraiser aimed at replenishing their disaster kitty.

She says they target to raise Sh10 million to strengthen the disaster management systems and reach vulnerable households with menstrual and adolescent hygiene kits, mental health services and other emergencies as a result of the drought that has wiped out people’s livelihoods.

At the same time the county has received relief food aid from Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa. The food donation was handed over by the hotel’s Front Office Manager Sanjay Mukherjee alongside the Purchase Manager Navanath Kumbhar.

A total of 150 packages each containing 1kg sugar, 1kg beans, 2kg rice, 2kg maize, 250g tea leaves and a bottle of water were handed over to the county government and will be distributed to families affected by the drought situation across the coastal county.

Two weeks ago, Kwale based Australian mining firm Base Titanium, donated food stuffs worth Sh6 million. The food packages which included maize flour, rice, beans, cooking oil, sugar and salt were given to vulnerable families in areas worst affected by the drought.

By Hussein Abdullahi

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