Savannah Cement injects Sh2m in drought mitigation program

President Uhuru Kenyatta last week declared the current drought a national disaster.

Following a clarion call recently sounded by President Uhuru Kenyatta for local corporates and individuals to support the Government by upscaling drought mitigation programmes, Savannah Cement, is among the first private sector responders to make a corporate donation for the cause.

Speaking when he presented the firm’s donation to First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, at State House Nairobi, Savannah Cement Managing Director, Ronald Ndegwa said that the contribution comprised of funds earlier earmarked for the First Lady’s Half Marathon.

The firm, Ndegwa said, had earlier budgeted to extend a Sh1 million donation in support of the First Lady’s Half Marathon (now cancelled) and on hearing the President’s appeal, decided to double the amount in view of the prevailing drought situation.

The donation presented to Margaret Kenyatta for onward transfer to the Kenya Red Cross Society, Ndegwa said will complement the Governments efforts in mitigating the effects of drought.

“At Savannah Cement, we have swiftly moved to secure this Sh2 million donation as part of our humble contribution to the ongoing drought mitigation efforts,”

He added: “as an organization, we have taken the first step to complement ongoing Government efforts and we call on other Corporates and Kenyans of goodwill to selflessly support the ongoing drought relief efforts.”

The Government recently declared the current drought affecting 23 arid and semi-arid counties and pockets of other areas a national disaster with President Uhuru Kenyatta calling on various stakeholders to support the Government by upscaling drought mitigation programmes.

Growing numbers

The National Drought Management Authority and the Kenya Red Cross Society estimate that there are more than 2.6 million Kenyans facing starvation and in need of urgent food and related relief.

The Kenya Red Cross Society has classified 11 counties in the Alert phase of drought warning.

More than 12 other counties are classified to be in Alarm Phase, and the situation is worsening with an expectation that some of these Counties could slide into the Emergency Phase if there are no interventions.

The government had allocated Sh5.4 billion in the first stage of drought mitigation interventions the period covered November 2016-January 2017. For the second phase, which covers the period February-April, an additional Sh11.6 billion is required and for Phase Three between April-August another Sh7.1 billion will be required.

Already, the National Treasury has released the first tranche of Sh7.3 billion while the county governments have provided Sh2 billion.

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