- The latest report by the Kenya food security steering group shows that the number of Kenyans affected by drought and hunger has gone up from 4.2 million to six million.
Defence cabinet secretary Aden Duale has said that the government has so far spent Sh13 billion to buy and distribute relief food to Kenyans who have been affected by the drought and are in dire need of relief food.
The latest report by the Kenya food security steering group shows that the number of Kenyans affected by drought and hunger has gone up from 4.2 million to six million.
Speaking at ADC, Galbet ward, Garissa Township Sub County, where he led a food distribution exercise, Duale said that as the government works to provide a long-term sustainable solution to this perennial menace, short-term life-saving intervention measures have been equally put in place.
He said that while the number of those in need of food aid continues to rise, the government will make sure that no citizen dies from hunger.
The CS who was also joined by Garissa county commissioner Boaz Cherutich, county security committee members, officials from the NDMA and a section of the MCAs warned that action will be taken against any officer found to have diverted the food elsewhere.
“We want this food to reach everyone who is suffering and we will not allow those who sell and transport relief food or those who supervise the distribution exercises to the most vulnerable members of our society to play with this food,” he added.
“We have experienced low rainfalls in the last few years and it is not in Garissa only. Even places where we used to experience enough rain are becoming dryland. But we hope and pray that the Almighty God will ease our suffering by blessing us with rain,” Duale said.
Garissa Township MP Dekow Mohamed said that there is a need to consider distributing more relief food in the town where more people who lost their livestock to drought have migrated to.
“We have a problem here because other sub-counties are considered where the township is left out in food distribution programmes. We are the most affected because people have migrated here and need this relief food too,” Dekow said.
The MP further urged the county government to fast-track the process of finding more permanent water solutions so that every citizen in the county can have access to clean water for both domestic use and livestock.
According to the National Drought Management Authority, at least 509,000 people are facing acute starvation in Garissa county.
The NDMA in conjunction with the County government is currently conducting water tracking to affected areas, and school feeding programmes to help keep the children in school, while a section of Non-governmental organizations and well-wishers are conducting cash transfers to the vulnerable.
The NDMA in its January 2023 bulletin paints a worrying picture in 23 counties that have been classified as either in the alarm or alert phase of the drought.
Counties on the alarm phase include Kilifi, Mandera Marsabit Samburu, Turkana Wajir, Isiolo, Kitui, and Kajiado, while 13 counties Garissa, Lamu, Narok, Tana river, Makueni, Tharaka Nithi, Baringo, Laikipia, Meru, Taita Taveta, West Pokot, Nyeri and Kwale are in the alert drought phase.
Last week, Rebecca Mian, the CS for East African Community, ASALs, and Regional Development, said that her ministry was working closely with the ministry of interior to make sure that relief assistance reaches the intended people.
She was speaking in Wajir when she led a second phase of food distribution.