3 million Kenyans need relief aid

Sunday February 19 2017

Kenya's State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP.

Close to 3 million Kenyans are in need of relief assistance, official said.

The Secretary of Communication and State House Spokesperson, Mr Manoah Esipisu, in his weekly address to the media in Nairobi on Sunday, said the number had doubled from 1.3 million in August 2016.

Mr Esipisu attributed the situation to the drought that has devastated parts of the country.

Most vulnerable

He said 300,000 of those affected were in the non-arid and semi-arid (ASAL) areas, representing about 20 per cent of the population in pastoral areas and 18 per cent in marginal agricultural areas.

"The worst affected are the most vulnerable usually the elderly, sick, children under five and mothers,'' said Mr Esipisu. 


He explained that food prices across the country were showing an atypical increase due to below-average production in 2016, with the current prices being 10–25 per cent above their five-year averages.

The State House Spokesperson further disclosed that the government had allocated $52 million (Sh5.4 billion) in the first stage of drought mitigation interventions that covered November 2016-January 2017.

National disaster

"For the second phase, which covers the period which we are in-February-April, an additional Sh11.6 billion ($112m) is required and for Phase Three between April-August another Sh7.1 billion ($69m) will be required,'' he went on.

"Towards this the government has allocated Sh7.3 billion ($70.4m) already and that leaves a gap of Sh11.4 billion ($110m), which the government is also mobilising."

President Uhuru Kenyatta recently declared the drought a national disaster and a formal Kenya Gazette notice was expected to be published.