Food distribution in Turkana by Kenya Red Cross Society and Red Cross movement partners

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The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) in partnership with the Netherlands Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), conducted a joint visit to Turkana county where they assessed the impact of the drought, gave food support to families affected by the drought and witnessed the ongoing interventions by KRCS.

The event that took place on 27 February 2017 was led by Abshiro Halake, Deputy Secretary General, KRCS, who was accompanied by Gijs de Vries, the Secretary General of Netherlands Red Cross and Dr. Fatoumata Nafo, Africa Representative, IFRC.

Turkana is among the 13 counties in the alarm stage of drought classification and in need of support. KRCS continue to implement a number of interventions in the county among them, cash transfers, food distribution, rehabilitation of boreholes and medical outreaches.

“The situation in Turkana is dire necessitating the need to implement multiple interventions. Our cash transfer programme targets 3,000 households, while food distribution has already benefited 1,700 households,” said Halake. “We hope to scale up the number of beneficiaries and reach as many families as possible,” added Halake. The cash transfer programme will be conducted over a period of four months while the food ration will be able to support the affected families over a period of two months.

The food distribution conducted at Kapedo on 27 February 2017 was witnessed by Gijs De Vries and Dr. Fatoumata Nafo. The exercise targeted 576 Households. "We will launch a national campaign in the Netherlands in order to support drought affected countries in Africa including Kenya" said Gijs De Vries, Secretary General, Netherlands Red Cross.

Representing IFRC, Dr. Fatoumata noted that "The IFRC is very proud of the work the Kenya Red Cross is doing in responding to communities affected by drought in the country".

The same delegation visited Marsabit County that is also facing drought where KRCS continue to support the affected communities through cash transfer, livestock destocking, health and nutrition outreaches. The team was joined by KRCS Governor and Secretary General, Dr Mohamud Said and Dr. Abbas Gullet respectively.

"We launched a drought appeal seeking to raise 1 billion Kenyan Shillings for drought response. We continue to look for more resources from both our local and international partners, to be able to support more of the 23 counties classified as food insecure,” Dr. Abbas Said.

The team also had a chance to visit the IFO 2 refugee camp in Dadaab that is managed by KRCS, touring the KRCS tree nursery, Model farm and the waste management plant within the camp. They also visited the greenbelt where trees have been planted using an extensive piping system, solarized borehole and the KRCS level five Hospital.

The Netherlands Red Cross is known for it fundraising prowess and through his visit, Gijs de Vries and his team hope to rally the Dutch people to support the Kenya Red Cross drought appeal.