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Gov’t rolls out interventions to mitigate drought

The Government has rolled out various interventions to alleviate sufferings of Kenyans affected by drought, especially those living in Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) regions.

This effort follows the experience drought has owed to failing rainfall in the last three seasons leading to about 2.8 million Kenyans from 23 ASAL regions facing food distress.

The interventions by the government include, Emergency Relief Cash Transfer which was launched in December 2021, targeting 225,705 beneficiary households from the affected counties.

Through a press release to the media, the Government Spokesperson, Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna, said each beneficiary received Sh3, 000 as emergency relief and the total amount disbursed is Sh 677,115,000 in the month December, 2021, and another similar amount for January/February, 2022 period.

The second intervention, he added, is Physical Food Distribution whereby due to minor technical challenges experienced with Emergency Cash Transfer affecting a few individuals in the targeted group, the government re-introduced physical food distribution to all the counties as an emergency intervention.

“The amount of food currently being distributed to the counties include, 63,100 (50kg) bags of rice, 62,000 (50kg) bags of beans and 800 cartons of corned beef,” said Oguna, stating that the physical distribution of relief food does not replace the Emergency Cash Transfer but an emergency intervention to help in areas where food may be a challenge to acquire even when one has the money.

The Spokesperson said other short-term interventions include water trucking to provide water for livestock/domestic use and the off-take program which aims to off-load very weak cattle from farmers at a fee.

For this program, Oguna said the government had allocated Ksh450 million for phase one and that a similar amount is earmarked for phase two expected to start soon.

He said for long term interventions, the government is in the process of implementing strategies to improve adaptability and residence of Kenyans during drought situations.

Infrastructure development, Oguna said, is one of the long-term interventions which entails construction and rehabilitation of weather proof infrastructure.

He listed other long-term interventions as sustainable livelihoods, drought risk management for early warning system to aid in quick response.

The Spokesperson said Human Capital Development (Health and Education), is also another intervention as well as peace and security to manage and coordinate peace and security activities.

“The government will continue to provide relief support to the people affected until the situation improves,” said Oguna.

The Spokesperson noted that the relief intervention is in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s pledge that no Kenyan shall suffer to the point of losing life to lack of food.

By Catherine Muindi


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