Kenya to launch drought fund to cushion affected areas
Kenya will establish a National Drought Emergency Fund (NDEF) to cushion areas affected by the drought in future, the Government has announced.
The move has been necessitated by frequent droughts that have led to loss of lives and thousands of animals due to inadequate food and water. National Treasury, Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich, said the fund will enable Kenya deal with unexpected eventualities resulting from prolonged drought.
According to Mr. Rotich, the ongoing drought has affected about three million people.
China a long time ally of Kenya had agreed to supply Kenya with a Sh2.25 billion worth of rice, Rotich said the ongoing drought He said the Government has set aside about Sh7 billion in the budget to mitigate drought. He said the money will be used to buy relief food, water, stock retakes purchase and support school feeding programmes.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, Liu Xianfa, who signed the food assistance on behalf of his country said the 1,000 metric tonnes of food will arrive in a months time.
Xianfa said he is appealing to Chinese people in Kenya to contribute to the fund’s kitty in order to alleviate suffering of people living in drought-stricken areas.
“We have noted that the country is facing an unprecedented shortfall of major food commodities particular maize. About 3 million people in both rural and urban centres are at risk of severe hunger,” he said.