Red Cross announces hunger appeal for 17 counties

Wednesday March 18 2020

Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary-General Abbas Gullet speaks at The Boma on March 21, 2019, during the launch of a campaign to help people facing drought. PHOTO | BERNADINE MUTANU | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The Kenya Red Cross Society has launched an appeal for aid to more than one million people in 17 counties afflicted by starvation.

Secretary-General Abbas Gullet on Thursday said many people have died from different causes, famine and drought included.

The agency is seeking Sh824,554,720 to assist hunger-stricken residents in Wajir, Tana River, West Pokot, Tharaka Nithi, Samburu, Nyeri, Marsabit, Laikipia, Mandera, Lamu, Kitui, Kilifi, Isiolo, Garissa, Embu, Baringo and Turkana counties.


Mr Gullet singled out Tiaty (Baringo County), Loyangalani in Turkana and Wajir as the most affected.

The Nation Media Group has joined the campaign to supplement government's efforts to alleviate the situation.


Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Clifford Machoka urged "Kenyans to help fellow Kenyans and ask questions later".

The Red Cross is also preparing for flash floods during the forthcoming long rains.


The drought issue is causing friction, particularly after the government denied reports that some residents in Turkana and Baringo have died from hunger.

Baringo County Silale Ward Representative Nelson Lotela on Tuesday said he has information about the number of people who succumbed to starvation.

"I can take the provincial administration to the homesteads of all the people who have succumbed to hunger. Why are they disputing our reports yet we are right? They have even gone to the extent of intimidating us and the local chiefs for giving the reports to the media," Mr Lotela said.

But Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Mongo Chimwanga countered, saying no one has died and measures have been put in place to prevent deaths.

"No single soul has been lost in Baringo or Turkana counties as reported by the media. It is only that the short rains experienced in the areas were not enough, and the long rains are late, leading to food and water shortages," he said.


Additionally, Deputy President William Ruto on Wednesday discredited such reports.

"There is a lot of fake news about what is happening. We have been told that 11 people have died but that is not true. No one has died as a result of the drought, and we are working round the clock to ensure that no one dies of hunger," Mr Ruto said.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa took part in distributing relief food to Turkana locals. He said there is money to facilitate aid activities.