Kenya Red Cross has distributed food to more than 1100 households in Mandera according to their vulnerability as part of efforts to mitigate the drought impact in this hard Covid-19 times.
Speaking when distributing food stuff in Khalalio, one of the worse hit places in Mandera East Sub-county, today, Red Cross Secretary General, Dr Aisha Mohamed, pointed out that 20,000 affected households in the area was targeted as a way of mitigating the vulnerable population from hunger and starvation.
She said the move is crucial in the area which is experiencing prolonged drought hence food insecurity, besides threat of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Many households are suffering from hunger and starvation here, it’s even worse this time round due to impact of Covid-19 pandemic,” noted Aisha. According to Aisha, 195,000 people have been affected by hunger in Mandera County
“Statistics indicates that more than 195,000 people are suffering hunger in this county, but today, we can only help 1,100 which sums up to more 20,000 individuals, we are in talks with government on how to cover a large number,” she added.
She said Red Cross will work with both levels of governments to come up with a Cash Transfer program, that cushion traders from negative impact of drought as well as Covid -19.
“Red Cross is committed to work with both levels of governments to come up with cash transfer program that will also help traders survive this hard times,” added Aisha. Aisha said the families are expected to use the relief food for a period of one month.
She added that two million more people in twelve counties are facing hunger and starvation and need emergency relief support, with the problem being acute in Wajir, Turkana, Marsabit and Garissa counties.
“Counties of Wajir, Turkana, Marsabit and Garissa are worse hit by starvation, we are expecting more four counties to join the list by next month, so far more than two millions Kenyans are starving,” she said.
Mandera County Commissioner Onesmus Kyatha, thanked Red Cross for the initiative, adding that Kutulo and parts of Mandera West are the most affected area in Mandera County.
He added that National Government has put plans in place to ensure no one loses life because of hunger.
The CC pointed out that 22,000 vulnerable people were given Sh 8,000 under government cash transfer program.
“Through Cash Transfer program, the National Government has already covered more than 22,000 vulnerable people in the County by giving 8,000 to each of them, the government has also released more fund and many affected families will be covered soon,” said Kyatha.
He also confirmed that indeed 195,000 people in Mandera County are in dire need of food and water.
Mandera County Water, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources CEC, Mohammud Ali, confirmed that the County is supplying water to the affected people, particularly in Banisa, Kutulo and parts of Mandera East Sub-county, since these areas experienced inadequate rainfall in the last three seasons.
“Since devolution, Mandera County has drilled 300 bore hole as a way of mitigating drought in an area which has been receiving low rainfall,” said Mohamud. Red Cross has also distributed mask in the affected areas.
By Charles Matacho