Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has appealed to the private sector to help the government raise money to support hunger-stricken Kenyans hit by the ongoing drought.
According to Gachagua, the government is in need of Ksh.2 billion shillings to secure relief food for the drought-stricken counties countrywide.
The DP, who was speaking as he launched a call to action by the private sector to step in and help mitigate the ravaging famine, also urged the private sector to set up a kitty that will be used to purchase food from food surplus regions of the country for redistribution to food insecure regions.
“We urgently need some 2 billion shillings to purchase food from these regions and send it to those in need,” the DP said. “I also urge county governments to waive excess fees from food in transit as part of their contribution to mitigating the current drought.”
He commended the private sector for the Pamoja Tuungane initiative which he said has raised over Ksh. 114 million towards drought management and relief activities.
The ongoing acute famine has put 4.5 million Kenyans at risk after failed rains and left 2.5 million livestock dead so far.
Nine counties severely hit by drought have been classified as the red zone. They include Laikipia, Isiolo, Mandera, Garissa, Turkana, Wajir, Nyeri, Samburu and Marsabit.
Kitui, Tana River, Tharaka Nithi, Makueni, Meru, Embu, Narok, Taita Taveta, Kajiado, Kwale, Kilifi, Baringo, West Pokot, and Lamu are among the 14 counties classified as yellow zones.
Kenya drought declared national disaster
The ongoing drought in Kenya was declared a national disaster by former president Uhuru Kenyatta in September last year.
The government has since been distributing relief food and cash transfers to affected households to help mitigate the situation.
In March this year, former interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i warned that the number of Kenyans facing acute starvation could hit 3.5 million if the March-May short rains fail.
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