Anti-drought campaign receives Sh21bn boost

The government will spend Sh21 billion to fight drought, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has said.

Already, the government has spent Sh5.2 billion in the first phase and has set aside an extra Sh7.1 billion to last until September this year for the second phase of the programme.

“The government is on top of things and it is still in control of the drought situation. We will ensure nobody dies of hunger or sleeps hungry,” Mr Kiunjuri said.

National Drought and Management Authority chief executive officer James Oduor said that since July last year, the government has spent Sh220 million in fighting the dry spell in 23 arid and semi-arid counties.

And from January to date, he said, Sh50 million has been spent.

“The monies have been spent in animal off-take, water tracking, disease and pest control and distribution of hay for fodder in the dairy sector,” Mr Oduor said.

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He also cautioned the Opposition against politicising the disaster.

“Those people saying people have died of hunger should show us proof that anyone has died,” he said.

This comes after ODM leader Raila Odinga demanded that President Uhuru Kenyatta apologise over Kenyans who have died as a result of the drought.

But Mr Oduor denied the claims, saying the disaster has not caused any deaths and there is ample food to feed the population.

Mr Kiunjuri was speaking in Kiawara in Nyeri County when he donated bags of rice, maize and beans to the needy.

In Nyeri, the Department of Agriculture said over 30,000 residents face starvation especially in Kieni, a semi-arid area.

Mr Kiunjuri urged everyone to chip in to ameliorate the situation.

He added that the ministry plans to use a cash transfer programme in the last phase of the mitigation programme.

Also, he observed that both food aid and cash transfers have so far been successful.

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