Vulnerable Mandera families get relief food as drought bites

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At least 38,294 vulnerable households in Mandera County currently facing starvation as drought takes a toll on residents will now get relief food.

Over the weekend, Governor Ali Roba officially launched the relief food distribution exercise across all six constituencies.

According to the governor, the households are in urgent need of food assistance.

“Early this month, we carried out an assessment of the impact of drought on the communities with an emphasis on the number of households most affected,” he said.

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In Mandera South, 5,256 households are in dire need of relief food while another 2,830 in Lafey are starving.

Mandera East has 5,337 households that need food support, Mandera West has 4,086 and Mandera North has 4,921.

Some 5,101 households in Banisa also need food aid while in Kutulo Sub-County, 2,520 households will be supported by the county government.

Another group of 8,343 people. including orphans, persons living with HIV and non-locals struggling to put a meal on the table, will also benefit from the programme.

Each household is expected to receive a 12kg bag of rice, five kilos of maize flour and three litres of cooking oil.

Appeal for aid

Mr Roba appealed for more aid from the national government, well-wishers and non-governmental organisations as the situation worsens.

“Despite all our efforts, the interventions that are necessary to save the lives of our people and those of their livestock are immense. We call upon the national government, NGOs and other development partners to provide support to the most affected,” Mr Roba said.

Mandera did not receive adequate rainfall during the last October-December short rain season.

“As we are all aware, our county did not receive adequate rainfall during the last short rain season. Accordingly, most of our earth pans did not collect any water and most of our grazing land did not grow any pasture for our livestock,” he said.

Last week, Governor Roba flagged off an additional 17 hired water bowsers which he said will ensure an uninterrupted supply of water to the 246 water trucking centres.

The National Drought and Management Authority issued an alert in January over the deteriorating body conditions of livestock and a decline in milk production.

In the alert, the authority said that storage and water sources were depleting by the day due to the failed October-December rains.

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