The Government, through the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) has disbursed Sh537 million under the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) to 99,494 poor and vulnerable households in Marsabit, Wajir, Mandera and Turkana counties.
“Each household is entitled to Sh5400. This will go a long way in ensuring food for the vulnerable households in these four counties, which are among the most affected by drought which has been occasioned by three consecutive failed rain seasons,” said NDMA CEO, Hared Hassan Lt Col (Rtd), in a press statement.
In a Food Security and Nutrition Security Assessment Report released last month, the counties of Marsabit, Turkana, Wajir and Mandera are among those singled out as having huge populations in dire need to relief assistance.
The cash disbursements under the Hunger Safety Net Programme are part of the larger Kenya Social and Economic Inclusion Project implemented by the Government through a loan from the World Bank and a grant from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO).
Mandera and Marsabit counties, with over 19,000 beneficiaries each, received Sh107 million and Sh104 million respectively while Wajir County with over 17,000 beneficiaries received Sh95 million.
“Turkana County has the highest number of beneficiaries standing at over 35,000. This County has received Sh189 million in HSNP cash transfers,” Hared said.
The CEO also said that NDMA was currently undertaking registration of poor and vulnerable households in Isiolo, Garissa, Samburu and Tana River counties with a view to bringing on board an additional 32,000 households under the HSNP.
“We intend to bring on board as many households in the arid and semi-arid counties since these counties are most affected by drought. HSNP Cash Transfers reach about 26 percent of the population in the programme counties,” said the CEO.
Beneficiaries, according to the authority, started receiving their payments. In Laisamis, Turbi, Lodwar, Marsabit, Moyale, Wajir and Mandera towns, beneficiaries were sighted in long queues at Equity Bank payment points waiting for their stipend.
“We can only say thank you. I will now be able to buy food for my children whose eating has been erratic over the past few months,” said Mama Nale Bartigo, a beneficiary in Korr, Laisamis Sub-County in Marsabit County.
By Wangari Ndirangu