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Kenya ramps up relief efforts to mitigate drought

President Uhuru Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday announced a raft of new measures enhancing relief efforts to mitigate drought in the country’s arid and semi-arid counties.

More than 1.5 million Kenyans are said to be in urgent need of food aid amid the persisting drought.

Speaking in north Kenya’s Maralal, which is among the hard-hit counties, Kenyatta announced a food-for-fees program, under which the government will supply food items to schools that will in turn deduct fees they charge students.

“Streamline relief assistance being given by different ministries and let them be distributed through one channel,” he said during a meeting with local and senior officials.

Kenyatta also announced a new restocking scheme where the state will buy weak livestock from herders and slaughter the animals for the locals to consume.

The president said the ongoing food and water relief will also be increased.

The ongoing drought started in last February as many farms were preparing for the planting season. Some areas have not seen a single drop of rain for months.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in December warned that Kenya was highly likely to see another dry spell in early 2017 and with it a rise in food insecurity.

“Those most at risk are small-scale herders in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs), where livestock rearing can account for as much as 90 percent of employment and family income,” the FAO said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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