CASH TRANSFERS

Red Cross disburses Sh4 million to drought-stricken Garissa residents

Some 750 households got Sh5,400 each in the last two months

In Summary
  • The KRC Northeastern manager Mohamed Abdikadir, said the cash transfer targets pregnant women, people living with disability and the elderly.
  • Last week, the drought authority said at least 168,000 people in Garissa county are facing starvation.
Yussuf Ahmed [C], a resident of Adole location, Dadaab subcounty, shows an Mpesa message from the International Federation of Red Cross to the communication officer IFRC Rita Nyaga and Garissa county red cross coordinator Mohamed Dubow.
CASH TRANSFERS: Yussuf Ahmed [C], a resident of Adole location, Dadaab subcounty, shows an Mpesa message from the International Federation of Red Cross to the communication officer IFRC Rita Nyaga and Garissa county red cross coordinator Mohamed Dubow.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

The International Federation of Red Cross has in the last two months disbursed Sh4 million to 750 households in Garissa with each getting Sh5,400.

The KRC Northeastern manager Mohamed Abdikadir said the cash transfer targets pregnant women, people living with disability and the elderly.

Abdikadir spoke on Saturday in Dertu village, Dadaab subcounty where he had gone to meet beneficiaries of the programme.

He said the effects of drought are felt mostly by the rural folks who entirely depended on livestock selling.

"Herders are counting loses with their stock dying in numbers. The remaining are so weak and cannot even be sold. Such people require both food and monetary  assistance and that is exactly what we are doing," he said. 

Garissa county red cross coordinator Mohamed Dubow said the programme was a success since it had captured the real victims who required assistance.

“With the help of IFRC who are our donors we have embarked on cash transfers to the most needy. We have been working closely with community elders, local administrators and Nyumba Kumi to ensure that we reach the right beneficiaries,” he said.

Dubow said the organisation will continue working closely with the two arms of government and other humanitarian organisations to assist affected families.

Yussuf Ahmed, a resident of Adole location in Dadaab subcounty said the money has been of great help at a time when the drought is severe.

“We can only thank Red Cross for coming to our aid at our hour of need. Having lost our animals and not being able to sell the few we have left due to low prices, the future looked bleak,” Ahmed said.

Herders at Garissa market on Wednesday.
DROUGHT EFFECTS; Herders at Garissa market on Wednesday.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

The cash transfer comes barely a week after Garissa Governor Ali Korane appealed for more support from the government, NGOs and well wishers to address drought.

Last week, the drought authority said at least 168,000 people in Garissa county are facing starvation.

The report presented to the county steering group on Thursday indicated that the severely affected areas are Lagdera, Ijara, Dadaab and Holugho.

Lagdera deputy county commissioner Philip Koima on Thursday said the food situation in the four subcounties was dire and they need emergency relief support.

Two weeks ago, Public Service CS Margaret Kobia said the government will from next month shift its policy of distributing food to cash transfer, to increase efficiency and accountability.

She said the data and phone details of the intended recipients have already been captured in the registry.

Kobia said Kenyans in arid and semi arid lands will receive a stipend of Sh3,000 per household and Sh2,000 per person.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

Yussuf Ahmed, a resident of Adole location in Dadaab subcounty who is beneficiary of the money.
CASH TRANSFERS: Yussuf Ahmed, a resident of Adole location in Dadaab subcounty who is beneficiary of the money.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO
Residents of Dertu, in Dadaab subcounty at a watering point.
DROUGHT-STRICKEN RESIDENTS: Residents of Dertu, in Dadaab subcounty at a watering point.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO
Carcass of cows in Liboi subcounty, Garissa.
RAVAGING DROUGHT: Carcass of cows in Liboi subcounty, Garissa.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO