The Kenya Red Cross is appealing to Kenyans to raise Sh1 billion to help tackle the drought crisis in more than half of the country.
The fund will help up to 340,786 people facing starvation in 13 counties.
The fund will focus on interventions to mitigate drought, including nutrition, direct cash transfers, food vouchers, rehabilitation of key communal watering points and animal off-take and slaughter.
“All Kenyans need to come forward to donate to the Drought Appeal,” said Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary-General Abbas Gullet.
Dr Gullet said the number of people in need of food aid has risen to more than two million since January this year and the society has been forced to expand relief aid to nine more counties — Marsabit, Turkana, Wajir, Mandera, West Pokot, Baringo, Isiolo, Samburu and Lamu.
He said the assistance requested will target malnourished children, pregnant women and lactating mothers in 10 counties.
DIRECT CASH TRANSFERS
He said direct cash transfers to most food-insecure families and where markets are functional will benefit 17,500 families.
Dr Gullet said food vouchers will be given to 7,500 families while 51 watering points will be rehabilitated.
He said financial assistance will help families meet their immediate food, non-food and income needs.
“Cash transfers offer families with the flexibility and choice to purchase their preferred foodstuff from local traders and therefore supports local markets and recovery of livelihoods,” he said.
He said 4,200 households had already received money under the programme.
The drought in Baringo, Embu (Mbeere), Kajiado, Kitui, Laikipia, Makueni, Narok, Nyeri (Kieni), Taita-Taveta, Meru (North) and Tharaka-Nithi counties has been classified as an emergency.
The situation is alarming and expected to get worse in Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, Kilifi, Kwale, Tana River, Lamu, Wajir, Samburu, Turkana and West Pokot counties.