KRCS Continues to Respond to Drought

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According to the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) field offices' reports, parts of West Kenya, South Rift and the Coast regions are currently receiving rainfall. This is in line with the Meteorological Department of Kenya's forecast that counties north of Lake Victoria, Nyanza, the western parts of Trans Nzoia county in the Rift Valley Province and the southern parts of the Coastal Strip would receive enhanced rainfall.

According to the Department, the March 2011 onset of rains in the ASAL regions, are anticipated to last for only a month in the pastoral areas. This early cessation will thus prevent any real recovery from the impact of the drought, culminating in the second or third poor season in succession in these regions. Indeed, Mandera, Wajir and Garissa among other areas have not received any rainfall to date. This has had with dire consequences on humans and livestock in the affected regions.

Meanwhile, KRCS continues to respond to the evolving situations by targeting interventions in several areas guided by needs on the ground. The society initiated the second phase of destocking in Marsabit and Moyale Districts on 4th April 2011, in response to a notable increase in the death of livestock in the region. The exercise, which aims to provide meat protein to enrich household diets and inject cash into the local economy, will benefit at least 16,800 people in the target districts.

The Society is also targeting to feed some 25,000 school going children in Lamu, Ijara, Wajir, Garissa, Mandera, Samburu, West Pokot, Kajiado, Moyale and Marsabit districts through the supplementary school feeding for the next six months. The intervention was made possible through support from Airtel Kenya, donated Ksh16 million to KRCS. The Society is already providing supplementary School Feeding to at least 9,000 students in Marsabit, East and Central Pokot and Kwale districts.

KRCS continues to provide emergency water services to approximately 95,000 households in nine districts through water trucking initiatives. The society recently rehabilitated seven boreholes in Namorpus and Moru Edu in Turkana, Hadado, Meri, Abakole and Dahabley in Wajir and Damajaley in Mandera to ensure access to safe water for populations affected by the current drought, in the above regions.

The society's early recovery strategy aims to build the affected communities' resilience to future droughts. In line with this strategy, KRCS has distributed approximately 50MT of high yield certified seeds to 25,000 farmers in Kibwezi, Mboeni, Emali, Kaiti and Kilome districts in the Lower Eastern region. The society also distributed at least 7 green houses in Turkana, Samburu, Maralal and Walda districts in the last two weeks.

All in all, despite these efforts by KRCS, the needs in the affected areas far outweigh the interventions.