The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) has received a donation of three million shillings as funding towards drought alleviation in counties that are currently facing drought and are in urgent need of food assistance.
The donation from Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) was received on Tuesday, 20 December at their main offices at KenCom Building in Nairobi by KRCS Deputy Secretary General, Abshiro Halake.
“We are thankful for the support we continue to receive from partners. KCB has been our long standing partner during times of disaster, forever supporting the people of Kenya,” Abshiro Halake said. “The Kenya Red Cross Society has always been there during all crises, tirelessly serving Kenyans and saving lives, and every time we have called on KCB for help, they never disappointed,” she added.
Through the Cash Transfer Program initiated by KRCS, the donation will benefit families in Ijara and North Tana areas, in Garissa and Tana River Counties respectively. These are among the hardest hit by the ongoing drought in the country.
To issue the cheque on behalf of KCB was Joshua Oigara, KCB Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director.
“We believe this contribution will transform the lives of the communities in Garissa and Tana River as part of our social responsibility investments,” said Joshua Oigara, KCB Group CEO and MD while handing over the cheque to the Kenya Red Cross Society. “We have a duty as the corporate sector to give back to communities we work within in order to drive sustainability of our nation.”
As forecasted by the Kenya Meteorological Departments (KMD), the Western, Rift Valley and Central parts of Kenya have received adequate October-November-December (OND) short rains, while in the South Eastern, Coast and Northern parts of Kenya, these rains have had a poor start leading to the extension of the dry lean season that usually lasts from August to October.
As a result, the number of counties in the Alarm Drought Phase has risen to six (6) according to assessments by National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) (Garissa, Mandera, Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu, and Marsabit), while ten (10) others are at Alert Phase (Kajiado, Laikipia, Makueni, Meru, Narok, Samburu, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Turkana and Wajir)
This has led to poor harvests in marginal agricultural areas, high malnutrition rates, poor pasture, and inadequate water resources which have further resulted in unseasonal migration, livestock deaths that have negatively affected farmers’ incomes and access to animal products, and ethnic conflicts in pastoral areas.
Currently, 1.3 million Kenyans are acutely food insecure and in need of assistance. It is expected that food insecurity across most pastoral areas is likely to worsen in early 2017 and be more widespread than previously projected due to substantial drops in livestock productivity and income (FewsNet 2016).
The Kenya Red Cross Society with support from partners has been implementing a variety of interventions to support communities cope with the ongoing drought among them; the Cash Transfer Project (CTP), In kind food distributions and Livestock off-Take program.