Gov’t to spend Ksh21 billion to mitigate effects of drought
The government on Thursday announced that it plans to spend Ksh9.2 billion shillings in the next three months in an effort to mitigate the effects of drought in the country.
Speaking to the media at Treasury headquarters in Nairobi, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri indicated that in October, only five counties had been affected by drought but now 11 counties are facing the effects of the prolonged dry spell following the failure of the short rains.
Kiunjuri revealed that the three-phase programme would cost a total of Ksh21.6 billion, adding that mitigation efforts from November 2016 to January 2017 will cost Ksh5.4 billion shillings while February-April will cost Ksh9.2 billion and Ksh7 billion will be spent in the last phase from May-July 2017.
Kiunjuri further noted that the affected counties have registered high malnutrition rates, adding that the government will enhance the school feeding program to keep students in school.
The CS was keen to note that the livestock in the coastal region are particularly at risk as the area is currently experiencing severe drought.
“The ministry in collaboration with the UK department for international development is doing bi-monthly regular cash transfers to 97,000 households in four most vulnerable counties of Turkana, Madera and Wajir to 5,400 bi-monthly to each household,” said Kiunjuri.
The government has however moved to assure Kenyans that the government is on top of this situation, adding that both the national and county governments will continue to monitor the situation and scale the interventions when and where need arises.
Speaking at the same time, Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa appealed to Nairobi residents to use water sparingly during the ongoing water rationing period which he said was brought about by the adverse effects of the drought.
While attributing the water shortage to the reduction of water levels in Ndakaini Dam to slightly below 50 per cent due to the ongoing drought that has hit parts of the country, the CS moved to assure city residents the government has put in place measures to curb the persistent water shortage as well as mitigate the adverse effects of the ongoing drought.
The CS also issued a stern warning to cartels taking advantage of the current water shortage to exploit Nairobi residents by charging exorbitant prices for the product promising of dire consequences.