Deputy President, William Ruto announced that Ksh2 billion will be released by the government to combat the drought that has severely hit 13 counties in Kenya.

Ksh 600 million of that money will be used to buy food, some other Ksh 600 will be used to start water storage programmes in homes for irrigation purposes. Ksh 150 million will be directed into water trucking, maintenance and rehabilitation of boreholes in the drought-struck counties.

“There should be no cause for alarm at the moment. The government has put in place intervention to manage the current drought and we will work together with other humanitarian agencies to ensure there are no casualties,” the DP assured.

About 1.1 million Kenyans countrywide are facing starvation. Turkana County is the worst hit with approximately 800, 000 residents facing hunger. According to Business Today, 2 people (a man and a woman) in Turkana County died on March 5, 2019 while searching for food.

“The woman, a charcoal burner, was found dead about six kilometres away from Kangi’irisae centre in Turkana Central Constituency. The woman was found dead on 5th March. She had gone to burn charcoal which she wanted to sell so as to buy food,” John Ekwar, the location Senior Chief told Business Today.

Other counties that have been hit by the pangs of hunger include: Samburu, Marsabit, Garissa, Isiolo, Mandera, Wajir, Baringo, Kilifi, Tana River, West Pokot, Makueni, Kajiado, and Kwale.

According to a report by the National Drought Management Authority, the current drought has been caused by the reduction in the amount of short rains in 2018. Other factors that have led to food insecurity are inter-communal fights, invasion of crops by pests, and livestock diseases.