Kenya begins relief food distribution as it races against time to save more than 3.4 million people facing starvation

The Government declared a national drought emergency on 10 February with 23 of 47 counties affected.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa on Tuesday officially launched the drought mitigation program in Tana River County.

The CS accompanied by Tana River Governor, Hussein Dado and Senator Juma Wario among other leaders distributed part of the three million bags of maize in the Strategic Grain Reserve with an additional 90,000 bags of rice set aside for the intervention.

“No Kenyan will lose life because of famine or drought, we shall continue supplying relief food to the affected areas until the drought ends,’’ he said.

The rice was donated to Kenya by the Chinese government two weeks ago.

Apart from relied food, the government is also distributing livestock feeds, cash transfers, and water trucking to residents of drought affected Counties.

Kenya is battling with an ongoing drought; worsen by deforestation of water catchment areas.

At least 3.4 million Kenyans are facing starvation, the most at risk counties being Isiolo, Kilifi, Turkana, Wajir and Tana River according to Kenya Red Cross Society.

Some 357,285 children and pregnant and lactating mothers are also acutely malnourished, according to relief web data.

The latest nutrition surveys showed that three sub-counties (Turkana North, North Hor (Marsabit), Mandera) had Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates above 30 per cent.

Six sub-counties (Turkana Central, Turkana South, Turkana West, Laisamis, East Pokot (Baringo), Isiolo) had GAM rates between 15 and 29 per cent.

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