By Our Reporter
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday at State House, Nairobi, flagged off a consignment of emergency relief supplies to 23 arid and semi-arid counties affected by drought.
The relief intervention is set to benefit 2.3 million Kenyans in the affected counties. The counties include Kajiado and Narok counties.
Speaking at the occasion, President Kenyatta reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to providing both short-term and long-term solutions to drought by investing in community-based resilience and drought preparedness programmes.
The Head of State emphasized that the Government is focused on implementing interventions that will build resilience in all the vulnerable households, diversify livelihoods from drought sensitive activities to drought resilient ones as well as improve on early warning and impact forecasting systems.
“This flagging ceremony of a caravan of hope is part of the many interventions that my administration has undertaken since the 8th of September 2021 when I declared the ongoing drought a national disaster and immediately put in place measures to cushion the affected populations,” President Kenyatta said.
Uhuru said the government had released Sh2 billion to assist the affected households through relief food distribution, water trucking and a livestock offtake programme immediately after the declaration of the ongoing drought a national disaster late last year.
He said from October 2021 to date, a total of 11,250 cattle and 3,200 sheep and goats have been bought by the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) from the counties most affected by drought.
The head of state also directed the responsible ministries and agencies to immediately complement the cash transfer programme with relief food distribution to overcome challenges such as vulnerable households lacking mobile telephone numbers and devices.
“I also direct all responsible ministries and agencies to ensure that the livestock offtake programme, the water trucking programme, and donated medical supplies and relief food reach the affected populations in these counties without any delays,” the President said.
Head of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua, Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i , governor Joseph ole Lenku ( Kajiado) ,Samuel ole Tunai and representatives of governors from the counties affected by drought attended the brief ceremony.