Some 1.6 million Kenyans are acutely food-insecure and will need immediate assistance over the next six months, the Government has said. Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru said the hardest hit are areas that experienced extremely poor rainfall particularly in the pastoral zones of the north and north eastern counties – Mandera, Garissa, Isiolo, Wajir and parts of Tana River County.. This is according to the assessment report on the country’s current drought and food security situation in the arid and semi-arid land (ASALs) counties in the country. The report was released yesterday by Ms Waiguru.
The Devolution CS pointed out that the most critical period for the affected areas are between February and end of March 2015. “There are varying degrees of drought stress in the ASALs counties but emergency conditions have not yet been reached largely due to the interventions from the national government and other stake holders. Further deterioration of the situation can be contained by timely and effective response particularly in the water, health and nutrition, livestock and security sectors,” she said.
Waiguru said at the ASALs inter-governmental consultative meeting that it was noted the short rains of November and December 2014 had been poor, given the rains started late and ended early in most of the arid and semi-arid counties. The CS pointed out that despite the situation, the Government will continue to undertake different interventions. “With regard to relief food provisions, the Ministry of Devolution will continue to provide monthly relief food rations to the counties that are food-insecure. In addition, there will be a scaling-up of the authority to incur expenditure for distribution to ensure that county commissioners are able to distribute the food to all affected areas,” she explained. CASH TRANSFERS. She added that the Ministry of Agriculture will ensure all the National Cereals and Produce Board stores in ASALs areas are stocked with maize. Waiguru pointed out that the national government had disbursed Sh279 million to 16 counties since August last year to implement their contingency plans with further disbursement being availed on request by the affected counties.
There is need for early warning systems to be put in place at the county government level, the affected communities to trained more on climate change effects , resilience and how they can mitigate to prevent losses