Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi has raised alarm over worsening hunger due to biting drought in the vast border county.
Wajir County like most parts of northern Kenya is facing severe, prolonged drought which has affected an estimated 429,300 people. This is an increase of more than 50 percent as compared to the same period last year.
Some 420,000 in the county are in need of food aid and humanitarian assistance.
The aid agencies fear the situation could turn into a catastrophe if the drought continues to December.
According to the county drought committee and other partners, more than 25 percent of children below five years face moderate malnutrition.
Addressing the residents, Mr Abdullahi vowed to deliver better services to help restore hope among locals.
The governor noted that people in 13 sub-counties have been receiving food rations including rice, beans, and canned beef while others were getting cash from different well-wishers.
"The cash donations groups and the hunger safety network continue to implement interventions such as cash transfers, animal feeds and water distribution, livestock destocking and medical support,” Mr Abdullahi said.
"With 20 percent of our county population depending on water trucking and the wells, the county, through the county steering committee on drought has handed over 25 water bowsers to be used for free," he said.
He announced the disbandment of the Wajir County Referral Hospital’s Management team and appointed an interim committee to oversee its operations.
He said locals deserve quality, timely, reliable and efficient medical services.
“We believe Wajir residents deserve quality, timely, reliable and efficient medical services which is in line with our pledge to restore hope in our medical sector through wide-scale reforms,” he said.
He pledged reforms in the water department to address the commodity scarcity.
The governor promised to provide bursaries and help needy students continue with their education.
He said the county will partner with other education players to fund training of more local teachers.
“We shall partner with all our education stakeholders to fund the training of more homegrown teachers to balance the teacher to student ratio in our primary and secondary schools,” he said.
He asked locals to refrain from creating settlements that threaten the existence of the county’s rangelands.
“I wish to reiterate that the creation of unsanctioned settlements and mushrooming of haphazard spatial developments poses a dangerous threat to our rangelands,” he said, adding that his administration will not recognize illegal settlements.