Uhuru declares draught a national disaster

President Kenyatta Yesterday declared drought affecting parts of the country a National Disaster.

The President therefore instructed Ministry of Interior to head efforts by the government in cubing the problem in the affected regions.

Affected communities will be assisted with water, food as well as livestock uptake.

Turkana, in northern Kenya, has been hit by a massive drought for over a year, triggered and worsened by the effects of El Nino. Under a program called Kenya Resilient Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development (Kenya-RAPID), funded by USAID and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), CRS is the lead NGO in Isiolo and Turkana Counties working with Catholic Church dioceses to support the County governments as they develop their capacities to sustainably tap and exploit precious water reserves in Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands, or ASALs. Substantial water supplies lie below ground, so using them responsibly and maintaining them at the County level (as part of Kenya’s devolution under the new Constitution of 2010) is key to the economic development of these traditionally marginalized lands. In the ASALs, crop farming is possible only along riverbeds and/or with irrigation, so livestock is a mainstay of the economy. Ensuring access to water for livestock and people is a major pillar of the program. This area just outside of Lodwar, the Turkana County seat, had gotten a downpour for the first time in over a year in early May. Many animals were washed away and drowned. Even the camels have been dying, and they are especially susceptible to sickness and disease from the sudden weather shock.

The President made the decision after a meeting with 85 leaders from Kenya’s Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASAL) led by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatan.

Recently pupils were reported to have fainted due to hunger in Kitui pointing to the reality hunger probably caused by drought in some parts of the country.\

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