About 10,000 families in Mandera are to benefit from relief food supplies from the county government in efforts to combat the effects Covid-19.
On Wednesday, Governor Ali Roba flagged off seven trucks ferrying the relief rations for distribution across the county as part of the intervention measures as the country battles the pandemic.
Mandera has recorded eight Covid-19 cases with at least 25 other people in quarantine awaiting testing.
“We have identified over 86,000 vulnerable households in need of support. We have however picked about 10,000 households most desperately in need of food assistance for the next three months from April to June 2020,” Mr Roba said.
He said his administration, through the Special Programmes department, had assessed and mapped out the most vulnerable members of the community in the seven sub-counties up to the village level.
In Mandera East, some 2,250 families are to get the relief donations under the countywide emergency relief food distribution while 904 families are targeted in Lafey Sub-County.
In Banisa, some 1,230 families are to get the food supplies, Mandera South (1,610 households), Kutulo (890), Mandera West (1,080) and Mandera North (3,210).
“This population include the most vulnerable, Dugsi/Madarasa teachers, those living with HIV, internally displaced persons and people living with similar conditions,” Mr Roba said.
At least 450 tons of rice, 150 tons of beans and 93 tons of cooking oil will be distributed.
The governor, who is serving his second term after being re-elected in 2017 on a Jubilee Party ticket, said he is happy that his government’s relief distribution efforts are being complimented by the World Food Programme through its agents on the ground.
From Wednesday, Mr Roba said, the relief agency was to start distributing 470 tons of sorghum, beans and cooking oil “across the three sub-counties where they operate normally”.
APPEAL FOR HELP
“We thank WFP for this good gesture and call upon other organisations to emulate this example,” Mr Roba said.
The governor called for more support to “save the lives of our people and their livestock”.
He urged the national government, non-governmental organisations and other development partners to support needy people in the county.
The relief rations, a resident Ms Fartun Ali said, are a blessing to the mainly Muslim community.
Due to the high number of coronavirus cases, Mandera has been put under lockdown with the national government banning road and air travel into and out of the border county.
The pandemic has also led to the closure of the Kenya-Somalia and Kenya-Ethiopia borders.
“The above, coupled with the onset of the holy month of Ramadhan, has exposed the vulnerable families to serious food insecurity challenges. The combinations of all the above factors have contributed a lot of hardships to the vulnerable population of our county,” Mr Roba noted.