President Uhuru Kenyatta called on local and international partners to step in and help in supporting Kenya contain the ongoing drought in the country that has been declared a national disaster.
Speaking at the State House in Nairobi today, President Kenyatta called on all the stakeholders involved to help the government in coming up with ways in which the situation can be handled. He added that support from partners will complement the efforts of the government in mitigating the effects of the drought.
Apart from calling on partners and stakeholders, President warned those who have been given the responsibility of distributing food to the affected areas from taking advantage of the situation for their own benefit, adding that the government will take serious measures to all those who will go against the stipulated regulations.
“I will not tolerate anybody who will try to take advantage of this situation to defraud public funds. Let all investigative agencies including the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission get involved in the activities being undertaken during this period,” Said the President.
He noted that all these measures will have to be taken so that the government is not accused of taking advantage of the situation.
In its second phase of drought involvement for the coming months up to April when the long rains are expected, the government has allocated 11 billion shillings for the purposes of catering for different intervening bodies. The National Treasury has already released 7.3 billion shillings and on the other hand, county government provided 2 billion shillings.
So as to manage the current high cereal market price, the government will allow importation of maize by licensed milers and it will strictly monitor the whole process so as to ensure that everything is carried out in a more transparent manner.
The number of people affected by drought in the country rose from 1.4 million to 2.7 million in a span of one month which forced different quartet call on the national government to announce the situation as a national disaster and one that requires emergency solutions.
A total of nine counties in the country have been hit by savere drought with residents in these counties being at the brink of starvation. Mandera, Turkana, Garissa and Baringo are some of the most affected counties.
Thousands of livestock have died too due to lack of pasture and water leaving the pastoralists, who entirely depend on livestock with nothing to fall back to. At least five deaths have also been reported as a result of the pangs of hunger.