East African Community, Arid and Semi Arid Lands and Regional Development Cabinet Secretary (CS) Rebecca Miano has listed 21 counties that are still in drought distress.

CS Miano said despite the current rains in some parts of the country, counties in North and North Eastern Kenya were still in alarm drought phase.

“21 of the 23 Arid and Semi-Mid (ASAL) counties remain in drought stress following five consecutive failed rain seasons and late onset of the March-May long rains season.

“Based on the range of indicators monitored by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), two (2) counties namely Marsabit and Turkana remain in the Emergeng drought phase while eight (8) counties namely Isiolo, Mandera, Kajiado, Sambum, Tana River, Wajir, Kilifi and Kiwi are in the alarm drought phase,” she said in a statement on Thursday, April 4, 2023.

Some 11 counties including Baringo, Ernbu, Garima, Lamu, Makueni, Laikipia, Narok, Nycri, Mew, Kwale and Taita-Taveta are in the alert drought phase while two counties; West Pokot and Tharalca Nithi are in normal drought phase.

The CS, however, said rain in some parts of the country has provided much-needed relief to many Kenyans who endured prolonged drought in 2022 and part of this year.

“Be that as it may the ongoing rains are yet to yield palpable results in terms of transforming sectors affected the most.

“Consequently, the national and county governments, with the support of development partners, the private sector, non-state actors, and Kenyans of good will have continued to extend drought response interventions to cushion lives and livelihoods of those affected,” she stated.

Ongoing drought response interventions include distribution of relief food, cash transfers, screening and treatment for malnutrition, water truclang, provision of livestock feeds and livestock off-take.

The CS further said in March 2023 alone, the government spent Ksh1.2 billion for drought response across the country.

“Meanwhile, the private sector-led National Steering Committee on Drought Response distributed relief food worth Ksh900 million to affected households in 23 ASAL counties under Wakenya Tulindane initiative.

“The relief assistance was also scaled up to pockets of drought affected none-traditional ASAL counties,” she said.

At the same time, the CS asked Kenyans to continue sharing food with those who are still facing starvation.

“While the onset of the rainy season is a most welcome relief, it does not resolve food security challenges instantaneously. Consequently, I implore our benefactors to continue pooling resources to counter challenges posed by the drought suffered in recent times until the situation changes for the better,” she added.


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