Uhuru Declares National Disaster

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta assenting to bills at State House on March 30, 2021.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta assenting to bills at State House on March 30, 2021.
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday, September 8 declared the drought affecting parts of the country a national disaster.

    Consequently, the President has instructed The National Treasury and the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government to spearhead Government efforts to assist affected households including water and relief food distribution as well as livestock uptake.

    The decision follows today's meeting between the Head of State and 85 leaders from Kenya's Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASAL) led by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta address on March 12, 2021.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta address on March 12, 2021.

    The government will provide more details on its drought mitigation measures in due course.

    An analysis on arid and semi-arid areas in July by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) predicted a downward trend in food production in 11 counties due to poor rainfall.

    The counties include Marsabit, Garissa, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Embu, Meru, Nyeri, Samburu, Tana River, Kitui and Kajiado. NDMA stated that the counties are expected to experience a long spell of drought for close to four months.

    "It is projected that the drought situation will worsen between July and November 2021," the report read in part.

    On August 16, NDMA announced that Kenyans living in drought stricken region started receiving cash handouts. This was a change from the norm where they received food as part of a relief programme.

    In the new programme, Kenyans from 12 counties  prone to drought would receive the money from the government. NDMA explained that the Strategic Food Reserve (SFR) has not been stalked with food since last year.

    These sentiments were echoed by a Chief Lolele of Loima Constituency, Turkana County told Kenyans.co.ke that they have yet to receive any relief food since last year. 

    "The last time the county government distributed the relief food was back in 2020," Lolele stated adding that the most affected families include the elderly and orphans. 

    The new scheme seeks to end corruption that has rocked the relief program to the drought stricken areas, The authority  assured that efficiency is at the core of the scheme in the distribution of  the cash handouts.

    More to follow

    Food donations handed at a past Harambee event in Kenya
    Food donations handed at a past event in Kenya