HUNGER-STRICKEN

Mandera launches emergency relief food distribution

First phase targets 25,374 vulnerable households in six subcounties

In Summary
  • The first phase will target Mandera North, Banisa, Mandera West, Mandera South, Mandera East and Lafey households.
  • Every household shall receive assorted food items comprising rice, maize flour and vegetable cooking oil.
Mandera deputy governor Mohamed Arai while launching the exercise that targets vulnerable households suffering from the biting drought.
HUNGER-STRICKEN RESIDENTS: Mandera deputy governor Mohamed Arai while launching the exercise that targets vulnerable households suffering from the biting drought.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Mandera county government has launched a countywide emergency relief food distribution exercise as drought continues.

Deputy Governor Mohamed Arai on Tuesday said the first phase targets 25,374 vulnerable households—4,146 in Mandera North, 4,428 in Banisa, 3,063 in Mandera West, 6,645 in Mandera South, 4,657 in Mandera East and 2,435 in Lafey.

“We will also target registered orphanages, special schools, people living with disability, non-local groups in our urban centers, destitute households, fire victims and IDPs, an equivalent of 10,000 households,” Arai said.

Every household shall receive assorted food items comprising rice, maize flour and vegetable cooking oil.

The deputy governor regretted the disruptions of the traditional way of life for many pastoralists. The drought has pushed many people with no livelihoods to towns.

Over time, the vulnerable communities in both urban and rural areas in need of support during drought periods have grown.

"Consequently, we need to be ready all the time to overcome this sad reality,” Arai said.

On September 8, President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the drought situation affecting arid and semi-arid counties a national disaster after several appeals from the leadership of the affected counties.

Days later, Mandera Governor Ali Roba asked the state to reduce bureaucracy and ensure aid quickly reaches famine-stricken residents.

Roba said many a time the government releases funds and other essentials to assist residents but they never get to the intended persons.

He regretted that residents, who mostly depend on livestock, continue to be victims of climate change, something that has seen pastoralists lose animals and families and face an acute water and food shortage.

The situation was aggravated by three successive failed rain seasons and compounded by dessert locust invasion that wiped out vegetation.

Local leaders have been requesting well-wishers, local and international partners to support people with food rations, water trucking and livestock off-take programmes.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)