A Press Briefing
November 17th 2016
Good Day Everybody,
discussing the drought affecting various regions in Kenya.
The Government has been closely monitoring the situation and is working with relevant stakeholders to co-ordinate effective short and long term interventions.
With the late start and expected early cessation of the short rains, all indications are that the drought will persist into 2017. In the affected areas vegetation has greatly deteriorated and surface waters have all but run dry. Due to this herders are not able to adequately feed their livestock leading to diseases and death caused by starvation. Consequently, the market price for livestock is too low for economical disposal. For interventions the government has divided the situation into three levels: alert, alarm and emergency.
So far, only Kilifi (livestock ranching zone has been classified as emergency). Alarm areas include Garissa, Kwale, Lamu and Marsabit while “alert” level include: Kajiado, Laikipia,West Pokot, Isiolo, Makueni, Mandera, Meru (North), Narok, Samburu, Taita Taveta, Turkana and Wajir.
Notably, numerous measures have been taken by county governments to address the crisis. County Governments have invested significantly in relief food, water trucking, livestock disease surveillance and livestock off take. The European Union has graciously granted Ksh 145 million of drought contingency finance to compliment county efforts.
Meanwhile, the National Government continues to work with counties and other stakeholders to address the crisis.
Ksh 5.4 billion of additional financing has been approved by the National Government towards drought related expenditure : this figure has put in mind that the drought and its effects may extend up to August 2017. Ksh 1.65 billion has been allocated to food relief. Relief distributions are ongoing and quantities distributed will be doubled as of this month. Ksh 713 million has been allocated towards ensuring the supplementary and therapeutic feeding for children under five, the provision of water treatment services and other measures geared towards supporting the health of citizens in drought stricken areas.
Ksh 1.24 billion has been allocated to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation for the drilling, preparation and rehabilitation of boreholes, the purchase and distribution of plastic collapsible tanks and various other water distribution and storage measures. Ksh 244 million will go to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries for the purchase of drought tolerant seeds and the repositioning of strategic food reserve stocks. The Ministry will receive a further Ksh 1.3 billion for livestock related interventions including livestock off-take, the purchase of hay and concentrates and livestock disease management. Ksh 115 million has been allocated towards enhanced security measures in various counties and Ksh 156 million will be distributed as fees subsidy to day secondary schools to enable children to maintain school attendances in the face of hard conditions.
The Government has instituted these cross sectoral, multi-faceted interventions, to deal with the various faces and implications of this drought crisis. Moving forward, the Government remains cognizant of the ever urgent need to meet short term needs while maintaining a long-term strategy. The Government will continue acting to mitigate the impact of pro-longed drought and meet the future needs that will emerge over time.Challenges have been encountered is some areas where the citizens in need are not reachable or information does not reach government agencies on time.
The government is also aware that in some areas, resources meant for relief are ending up in the wrong hands. We take this opportunity to inform the public that this relief is for families in need and any other person found benefiting will be prosecuted as a thief. Country Security Committees in conjunction with the County Government and other stakeholders have been tasked with the responsibility of ensuring this impropriety does not occur.
The Government is also aware of various initiatives that have been launched, at an individual and community level, to support the affected. These commendable initiatives are truly appreciate. They stand as sure proof that in the face of crisis, Kenyans from all walks of life, will always unite for Kenya.
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND AHEAD AND GOD BLESS the REPUBLIC OF KENYA.