NewsEast & Horn AfricaKenya declares drought a national disaster, seeks help

Sun,26Feb2017

Posted on Friday, 10 February 2017 17:13

Kenya declares drought a national disaster, seeks help

By Reuters

A Somali woman carries firewood back to the UNHCR's Ifo Extention camp outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya. Photo: Jerome Delay/AP/SIPAKenya declared a national disaster on Friday (February 10) calling for aid to counter drought that is posing a major risk to people, livestock and wildlife.

 

The Kenya Red Cross has estimated around 2.7 million people are in need of food aid after low rainfall in October and November and the next rainy season not due before April.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said the drought had affected 23 out of the country's 47 counties and called for "local and international partners to come in and support the government's efforts to contain the situation," a statement from his office said.

The U.N. World Food Programme said it was short of $22m for the next six to nine months to provide support such as school meals for 428,000 children who often depend on them as their only substantial meal of the day.

Low rainfall in October and November

Kenyan government says the drought followed low rainfall during the October and November rainy season.

The statement issued by the Kenyan presidency did not say how much the government aimed to raise to deal with the drought, but said it had already released $70.57m, and authorities at the county level had provided another $19m.

Early this month residents in drought-struck northern Kenya said at least 11 people had died and a tourist lodge had been torched due to conflicts when armed cattle herders flooded onto farms and wildlife conservancies.



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