Famine Alert Declared in Northeastern Kenya

NAIROBI (March 22) XINHUA - The Kenyan government has declared a famine alert in Wajir District in North Eastern Province and announced the release of 200 million shillings (some 2.6 million U.S. dollars) for relief operation, the government-run Kenya Times reported on Wednesday.

The money released would be used to purchase more than 117,000 bags of maize (90 kilograms per bag) for areas severely hit by famine as a result of persistent drought, the report quoted Minister Shariff Nassir in the Office of the President as saying on Tuesday.

The minister, who is in charge of relief and rehabilitation, said that his government has so far spent over 747.8 million shillings (around 10.1 million U.S. dollars) for purchase and distribution of maize as emergency relief supplies in this financial year.

In addition to Wajir, Mandera District in North Eastern Province, Turkana District in northern Rift Valley Province and Moyale District in northern Eastern Province have also been severely affected by drought and famine, he said.

Early last month, the United Nations World Food Program appealed to donors to offer 43.4 million U.S. dollars to over two million Kenyans who need food aid after the dire effects of drought in large parts of the country.

Copyright (c) 2000 Comtex Scientific Corporation
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 03/22/2000 03:19:02