Cash, relief food going to 10,000 drought-affected families

A woman from Atapar village in Turkana North sub-county in search of clean water from a scooping hole

A woman from Atapar village in Turkana North sub-county in search of clean water from a scooping hole to quench her thirst in the currently water scarce area on September 20, 2022.

Photo credit: Sammy Lutta | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kenya Red Cross Society (KCRS) says 510,000 people in the county face starvation, with the number expected to increase after it was predicted that the October-December rainfall will be below average
  • Each of the 10,000 households will be receiving Sh5,067 every month for six months as part of the ongoing drought intervention measures in the county so that they can buy food and other basic needs

The Turkana County government and humanitarian agencies are intensifying joint efforts to assist drought-affected families after four consecutive rainy seasons failed.

Kenya Red Cross Society (KCRS) says 510,000 people in the county face starvation, with the number expected to increase after it was predicted that the October-December rainfall will be below average.

The ongoing efforts include cash transfers, relief food, supplementary livestock feeds and distribution of seeds and tools to farmers.

Multimillion cash and voucher programme

KRCS secretary-general Asha Mohammed said the humanitarian organisation is implementing a multimillion cash and voucher assistance programme in Turkana North, Kibish, Turkana East, Turkana Central, Turkana West and Loima targeting 10,000 households.

"Each of the 10,000 households will be receiving Sh5,067 every month for six months as part of the ongoing drought intervention measures in the county so that they can buy food and other basic needs," Dr Mohammed said.

There is also an ongoing cash transfer for 2,500 households with children under the age of five screened as malnourished, said KRCS coordinator Rukia Abubakar.

"With funding from Unicef, each of the 2,500 households with malnourished children is given Sh9,000 for six months," Ms Abubakar said. 

Some of the beneficiaries of supplementary livestock feeds from an USAID funded program.

Some of the beneficiaries of supplementary livestock feeds from a United States Agency for International Development  (USAID) funded program.

Photo credit: Sammy Lutta | Nation Media Group

Certified seeds and farm tools

VSF-Germany has distributed certified seeds and farm tools to more than 800 farmers in Kapelibok and Juluk villages in Turkana South sub-county as part of its drought mitigation measures.

Some 3,300 households in six sub-counties are benefiting from distribution of 165 metric tonnes of supplementary livestock feeds procured by SAPCONE.

The livestock feeds are in the form of range cubes procured through the USAID-funded Drought Emergency Response for Food and Nutrition Security (DERF), with technical support from Concern Worldwide and SAPCONE as the implementing agencies.

Under the distribution plan, Turkana Central and Loima sub-counties will receive 1,031 and 530 bags of range cubes, respectively, with Turkana South getting 209 bags. Each household will get 50kg of range cubes.

Other sub-counties covered in the programme are Kibish, Turkana North and Turkana East.

Reduced pasture

Turkana Livestock and Veterinary Services Chief Officer John Tukei said the supplementary feeds will help pastoralists in villages with reduced pasture due to overgrazing.

“The department of Pastoral Economy plans to procure an additional 4,000 bags (50kg each) of supplementary feeds to cushion pastoralists from losing livestock to drought," Mr Tukei said.

Ernest Anzeze, the county’s deputy director for livestock production, lamented that Turkana is the most affected by recurrent drought but said the directorate had built reserve stores for supplementary feeds.

Concern Worldwide County Programme Manager Ian Kinyanjui noted that the drought had killed many animals, worsening the community’s vulnerability.

On Thursday, Turkana Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai, Senator James Lomenen and MPs met with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua in Nairobi to discuss the worsening drought in Turkana.

Mr Lomenen said Mr Gachagua assured them that the national government would help tackle the effects of drought, which has been compounded by runaway insecurity.

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