At least two million Kenyans are at the risk of being affected by hunger due to falling short rains which were expected to run from November and December.
According to devolution CS, the number of counties affected by the drought has increased to 11 up from the five that the government had recorded in November last year.
“Performance of the short rains season 2016 was below average and characterised by poor spatial and temporal distribution in most of the arid and semi arid areas. Consequently, drought conditions in Kenya are worse now, at the end of the short rains season, than they were before the season began,” he said, adding that the inter-ministerial team will release a comprehensive report on the drought situation at the end of this month.
Kiunjiri also announced that the government is going to spend Sh9.2 billion in three months to mitigate effects of the drought. The funds will be spent between February and April on phase two of the drought mitigation programme.
An additional 7 billion shillings ($67.3 million) would also be injected from May through July before reevaluating the situation.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has already been allocated Sh230 million to effect the livestock uptake programme meant to support pastoralists and dairy farmers in the affected areas as the livestock sector is the hardest hit.
The drought started in February last year with North and South Pokot counties being the worst hit.
The Meteorological Department had warned that a La Nina phenomenon would develop in the country towards the end of 2016.