KCB commits Sh130 million for drought response

A woman at the Kishenyi dam in Wundanyi, Taita Taveta County. Taita Taveta is reeling from the effects of changing weather patterns that have led to the drying up of two major dams that humans and livestock depend on.

Photo credit: Lucy Mkanyika I Nation Media Group

KCB Bank Kenya has committed Sh130 million to support the country’s drought response initiative, providing food and essentials to thousands of households. 

The support will go towards augmenting government efforts in cushioning households hard hit by the ravaging drought and who now require an urgent supply of foodstuff and water.  

Of the amount, Sh100 million will be channeled through the Kenya Bankers Association-led drought response while the rest will be through the KCB Foundation, the bank’s social investment arm.

“The support we are rolling out today is part of our commitment that looks at helping communities cope with the current situation even as the government steps up its mitigation measures. We are ready to walk hand in hand with various partners to ensure that adverse effects of the ongoing drought are contained within the shortest time possible,” said KCB Group CEO Paul Russo. 

The bank through the Foundation has already distributed food to various Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL counties including Kajiado, Wajir, and Isiolo and is scheduled to reach ten more counties that have been adversely affected by the drought.

On Monday, President William Ruto established a 15-member National Steering Committee led by Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa. Members of the team are chief executives Russo(KCB) James Mwangi (Equity Bank), Nasim Devji (Diamond Trust Bank), Shamaz Savani (African Banking Corporation), Rebecca Mbithi, (Family Bank), Jane Karuku (East African Breweries Limited), Joshua Chepkwony (Jamii Telecommunication), Crispin Acholla (British American Tobacco) and Edwins Mukabanah (Kenya Bus Services Management).

Others are Dr Asha Mohammed, Secretary-General, The Kenya Red Cross, Patricia Mugambi Ndegwa (Impact Philanthropy Africa), Krishma Jitesh Chavda (ISHA Foundation), and Hared Hassan (National Drought Management Authority).

The committee is charged with establishing a National Drought Mitigation Appeal Fund and approving the opening and closing of bank accounts that would be jointly operated by representatives from the private sector, the government, and the Kenya Red Cross.

Further, the task force will collaborate with the county governments and the National Drought Management Authority to cushion affected people by providing relief services and cash transfers.

In the new arrangement, the state aims to assist 20 counties in the ASAL and 45 wards in nine non-ASAL counties that are extremely vulnerable due to food shortages.