The government of Kenya has approved release of Sh2 billion to facilitate mitigation of drought that has affected 13 counties.
Speaking on Monday, Deputy President William Ruto said the funds will be channeled to the affected areas to compliment county governments in saving lives.
“The funds will ensure adequate distribution of food and life-saving aid to needy populations, water trucking and complement first –line intervention by county governments,” DR Ruto said.
The DP acknowledged that a total of 1,111,500 people have been affected.
He affirmed that the government is in control and there is no reason to panic.
“There is no cause for alarm as the situation is not as bad as it was two years ago,” he said.
His sentiments came after attending a meeting to review the drought situation at Harambee House Annex, Nairobi.
In attendance were Cabinet Secretaries Mwangi Kiunjuri (Agriculture) and Eugine Wamalwa (Devolution) among other government officials.
Turkana is reportedly one of the most affected counties in the on-going drought situation in the country.
Five other counties also affected include, Mandera, Garissa, Baringo, Kilifi, Tana River, West Pokot, Marsabit, Makueni, Kajiado, Kwale and Isiolo.
Despite reports that the affected regions have recorded death cases, the government has dismissed the claims.
On Monday, CS Wamalwa said the government is yet to confirm a single death from the ongoing drought situation ravaging various parts of the country.
Kwa sasa hakuna kifo ambacho kimethibitishwa, ni ripoti tu… (There are no confirmed deaths yet. What we have are just unverified reports,” Wamalwa said, in an interview with NTV.
A report by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) blames the rising cases of food insecurity to below-average 2018 short rains, livestock diseases, invasions by pests and intercommunal fights in areas of northern Kenya where pastoral farming is practised.
“The below-average short rains have slightly increased the food insecure population from 655,800 in August 2018 to the current 1,111,500, with the top 12 counties having a total of 865,300 food-insecure people,” the report states.