Mandera County has launched Countywide Emergency Relief Food distribution to vulnerable households that are suffering as result of the biting drought.
Speaking during the launch, Mandera County Deputy Governor, Mohamed Arai stated that the County Government has taken action to caution the vulnerable population in Mandera against the scourge of the drought through provision of food rations, animal feeds and water.
“Following President Uhuru Kenyatta declaration that drought affecting this region is a National Disaster, Mandera Government has taken a step to caution our vulnerable population against drought and starvation through provision of food stuff and animals feed,” said Arai.
According to Arai, climate change has led to perennial droughts in Mandera, negatively impacting the livelihoods of pastoralist communities. It has disrupted the traditional way of life for many pastoralists, pushing many people to towns with no means of livelihoods.
He added that over the time the vulnerable families in both urban and rural areas requiring support during drought periods has grown and hence the need to be ready all the time to overcome this sad reality as the rains are not predictable anymore.
“In a rapid need assessment conducted by county multi sectoral technical officers led by the Special Programme Department between date 14-17 last month in all sub-counties in Mandera County, 35,481 families are in dire need of humanitarian relief support programme,” said Arai.
The first phase of distribution will target 4,146 households in Mandera North, 4,428 households in Banisa, 3,063 households in Mandera West, 6,645 households in Mandera South, 4,657 households in Mandera East and 2,435 households in Lafey. The distribution will also target registered orphanages, special –schools, people living with disability (PLWD), Non-local groups in the urban centres in Mandera, Destitute households, Fire victims and internally displaced persons.
Every each household will receive 12kgs of rice, 6kgs of maize flour and 3liter of vegetable oil cooking. This will translate to a total of 763 metric tons of food that comprises of 444 metric tons of rice, 213 metric tons of maize flour and 106 metric tons cooking oil.
Last week, Mandera County Agriculture Department trained farmers on drought mitigation as well as crops to grow in case of minimal rains in the area.
“This training is very important as it aims at educating our farmers on drought mitigation as well warning those living around River Dauwa to be cautious of floods expected from heavy rains from Ethiopia highlands,” said Daniel Lolpejalai, Crop Scientist and Assistant Director in the department.
Last week during stakeholders meeting, Mandera County Commissioner, Onesmus Kyatha confirmed that more than 191,000 households in Mandera are in dire need of food stuff and government has done everything possible to safe the situation using different intervention including cash transfer to the affected families.
By Charles Matacho