Ministry raises redflag on drought in Tana River county

Devolution cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa and members of the agriculture parliamentary committee with the National Irrigation Board general manager Daniel Barasa during a tour a past event. Wamalwa has urged counties to set up a drought mitigation fund PHOTO: COURTESY.

Nairobi,KENYA:Tana River County has been pin pointed among four counties that are facing severe drought in the country.

Addressing members of the press in Nairobi on Friday, Devolution cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa, indicated that Isiolo, Kajiado, Tana River and Garissa counties fall under the worst hit counties by drought.

He said that, the government has decided to categorize the matter into 3 phases starting with the most affected to the least affected counties when mitigating the  conducting drought mitigation efforts.

“This assistance has been provided in phases. In phase one, November 2016 to January 2017, the government released the full amount required of shs 5.4 billion, which supported the key sectors of water, health and nutrition, livestock production, agriculture and food and cash transfer” said Cs.

He added that, after the government declared drought as a national disaster, in February 2017,it provided an opportunity to mobilize additional resources from development partners, whereby 11.6 billion was needed for phase two, of which the government released 7.4 billion.

In phase 3,the government is expecting from February to April 2018 to have used up to sh.3.8 billion where sh2.5 billion is expected to be allocated to food and cash transfers, sh 306 million for water trucking, maintenance and borehole subsidies, sh 619 million for livestock of take, feeds, diseases surveillance and control.

Sh100 million is expected to go to health and nutrition, including food supplements and outreach and sh65 million for peace and security.

The ministry indicated that Sh144 million is expected to benefit the education sector for hygiene and sanitation and food for fees and also sh85 million for planting material and inputs for the long rains.

He further added that sh37 million will be injected to county and sub-county coordination.

According to the Cs, there are still 3.4 million people in need of assistance, although they are expecting the figure to drop once the findings of the short rains assessment are complete at the beginning of March 2018.