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Gov’t assures on relief

The government has given assurance that it would marshal sufficient resources to address effects of drought being experienced in the country.

According to government Spokesperson Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna, the government is committed to ensuring that there is enough food and water for everyone.

Speaking at Mogotio Deputy County Commissioner’s offices in Baringo Tuesday during a food distribution exercise, Oguna said distribution of food to 2.1 million food distressed Kenyans in the 23 affected counties has already began and would continue until resumption of normalcy.

He added that the government has already spent Sh1.2 billion in the month of October to procure and distribute food to all the affected counties and has mobilized an equal amount for the month of November for relief distribution depending on the severity of drought per county.

“I want to emphasize that there is no lack of food but there is shortage due to inadequate rainfall in the last two seasons which has led to low harvests, inadequate pasture for livestock as well as water shortage for both domestic and livestock use,” said Oguna.

The foodstuff which is being distributed to the 23 affected counties include 47, 600 bags of maize, 64, 100 bags of rice, 37, 400 bags of beans, 19, 500 cartons of vegetable oil and 17,300 cartons of fortified health foods.

Baringo County which is facing a risk of severe drought has been allocated 6,000 bags of maize, 3,000 bags of rice, 3,000 bags of beans 1,200 cartons of both vegetable oil and fortified health foods.

Other counties in this category include Garissa, Isiolo, Kilifi, Kitui, Kwale, Lamu, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana and Wajir.

Counties facing moderate risk of drought include Kajiado, Laikipia, Makueni, Meru, Taita Taveta, Tharaka Nithi and West Pokot while those with low risk are Embu, Narok and Nyeri.

Other short  term interventions include water trucking in conjunction with county government, hunger safety net where over 100,000 households in Turkana, Mandera, Wajir and Marsabit receive Sh5,400 every two months as well as the Inua Jamii cash transfer programme for the elderly, orphans and PWDs.

On long term interventions Col. (Rtd) Oguna stated that the government is working to improve peace security situation, infrastructure development, sustainable livelihood, drought risk management as well as human capital development in health and education which all stand at 40 per cent of implementation.

“According to statistics, from the year 2011 to date, the number of people affected by drought has continued to come down, meaning these strategies are working,” said the spokesperson.

He assured the residents of Mogotio of enough food not only for one day but for many more to come until food security is restored.

“The government is in control of the situation. Nobody should panic as we have enough supply of food for all parts of the country until we receive rainfall,” he reiterated.

Mogotio Sub-County Deputy County Commissioner Mr. Albert Mwaringa promised to distribute the food fairly to the five divisions in the sub-county and urged members of the public to wait for their rations at their respective divisions.

The Government Spokesperson also took time to address over 300 youths on empowerment programmes such as the new phase of kazi mtaani and education transition among others.

By Christopher Kiprop

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