Drought response team raises Kes1 billion

The National Steering Committee on Drought Response has raised Kes1 billion for drought mitigation as it targets to reach one million Kenyans in the latest phase of food distribution to famine-stricken households.

This indicates that the committee has received roughly Kes400 million in the last one month or so given that in early February, they appealed for support noting that they had so far managed to get Kes600 million from individuals and corporates.

Some of the institutions that have made donations include Co-op Bank which contributed Kes150 million, Kenya Defense Forces (Kes130 million), Equity Bank (Kes120 million), and KCB (Kes130 million).

Other corporates are Safaricom Kes50 million, Diamond Trust Bank (Kes20 million), Kenya China Economic and Trade Association, and Dawoodi Bohri Community which donated Kes10 million each while Middle East Bank gave Kes2 million.

Under WaKenya Tulindane drive, the committee is planning to distribute food to nine counties including Garissa, Nyeri, Taita Taveta, Narok, Meru, Baringo, Kwale, Marsabit, and Makueni targeting 290,000 people next week.

“We are grateful to Kenyans for the contributions thus far that have reached Kes1 billion even as we align as a committee on the short, medium, and long term plans. We have started implementing some of them such as a partnership with the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to rehabilitate between 250 to 300 boreholes that are expected to give one million Kenyans access to water,” said Peter Ndegwa, Chairman, National Steering Committee on Drought Response.

Committee has so far distributed food in in Marsabit, Turkana, Mandera, Wajir, Kilifi, Kitui, Kajiado, Isiolo, Samburu and Meru counties reaching over 400,000 Kenyans in 67,000 households since December last year.

Kenyans can contribute through PayBill 880990, which is available on all mobile networks and through the National Drought Mitigation Appeal Fund under KCB Bank, Riverside branch through account number 1305486137.

The latest data from the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) shows that six million Kenyans from 32 counties are food insecure with the persisting drought set to continue due to depressed rainfall.

At least 970,000 children and 142,000 pregnant women are malnourished, with urgent lifesaving interventions needed. The number of malnourished children has risen from 884,000 children as at July 2022.

The report also shows that over 2.6 million heads of livestock have died as a result of the drought. Water availability has been suppressed with 60 percent of open water sources drying up and most permanent rivers recording below 40 percent of normal flow.

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