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Drought Response Measures

Drought Response Measures

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Drought Response Measures taken by the Kenyan Government.
Drought Response Measures taken by the Kenyan Government.

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Published by: H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta on Aug 03, 2011
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08/12/2011

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OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTRY OF FINANCEPRESS RELEASEDROUGHT RESPONSE MEASURES
1. As we all know, our country is facing severe drought with adverse effects onlives of our people and livestock. This time, however, unlike in 2008 and 2009, it isnot just confined to Kenya -- it is affecting most of the parts in Eastern Africa, or  better known as The Horn of Africa.2. The Government wishes to reiterate its full commitment to finding a lastingmitigation solution to drought related challenges. We have demonstrated thiscommitment by implementing various strategic interventions, especially in the areasof; irrigation under Economic Stimulus Program; expanded budget for dams, pans, boreholes and water harvesting; and enhanced food relief and drought mitigationinitiatives.3. As was the case in 2009/10 and 2010/11 budgets, we made adequate provisions in 2011/12 budget to mitigate effects of drought. However, the scale of disaster associated with the worsening drought has increased and we recognize thatmore resources are now required to mitigate its effects on the lives of our fellowKenyans.4. Through the 2011/12 budget, we have taken a bold step to respond to thedrought related challenges of famine, while at the same time initiating medium tolong term measures through countrywide irrigation to kick out hunger andtransform our country in a food secure and net exporter of food. It is for this reasonthat we
set aside funds amounting to Ksh.14.4 billion that was earmarked forstrategic interventions to deal with the drought related challenges
. Theseinclude:
 
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Ksh. 8.5 billion for expansion of irrigation and Ksh. 2.2 billion for water harvesting
 
Ksh. 400 million for establishment of a livestock off-take fund;
 
Ksh. 930 million for other strategic interventions in ASAL areas; and
 
Ksh. 2.4 billion as safety net to cushion the poor and vulnerable groups.5. Prior to that, we had also made available substantial resources through budgetary reallocations in the last supplementary budget for 2010/11 to fundvarious measures to mitigate the emerging adverse effects of the drought.6. These measures, notwithstanding, we are now faced with an increase in thenumber of Kenyans requiring emergency assistance and many more of our peopleare increasingly becoming food insecure due to the worsening drought, especially inthe northern parts of our country. More women and children are in need of foodassistance, water, and health care. Our pastoralists have also lost their livestock andtheir livelihood is under threat.7. We are not just allocating budget resources to address these challenges weare also taking appropriate actions to assure sustainable food availability in thecountry, while also fast tracking relief efforts to save lives from hunger. Indeed as aGovernment that cares for the welfare of her citizen, we have responded swiftly andcomprehensively.i.
 
Already,
H.E. The President declared the drought situation a nationaldisaster allowing for importation of maize duty free
. The importation of maize complemented by the start of harvesting in some parts of the countryin July 2011 has helped to stabilize prices, especially of maize flour, astaple food for majority of our households.ii.
 
And on 14
th
July 2011, the Cabinet approved implementation of various drought mitigation programs amounting to Ksh.10.5 billion,
 including the existing provision of Ksh.1.3 billion. This amount is to befinanced from 2011/12 budgetary provisions under ministries concerned,including reallocations and budget cuts from other programs to the tune of Ksh.5.7 billion, and provision of Ksh.4 billion from contingencies. Inaddition, the
Cabinet approved borrowing of 500,000 bags of maizefrom the Strategic Grain Reserve for famine relief intervention
.8. On 14
th
June 2011 Parliament passed Vote on Account allowing ministries tospend one half of their proposed spending under 2011/12 budget. With theseauthorities of the Parliament and cabinet, the Government has acted swiftly torespond to on-going drought related challenges as follows:
 
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i.
 
The Trustees of the Strategic Grain Reserve met and authorized immediaterelease of 500,000 bags of maize for relief distribution.
We have movedwith speed to mobilize government agencies to ensure food relief isdelivered to those in need in every part of the country.
To this end, themilitary and National Youth Service personnel are actively involved infood distribution.ii.
 
The Treasury last week released Ksh.2 billion to the ministries
that areundertaking urgent drought intervention measures as follows:
 
Relief Food – Ksh. 1 billion under the Ministry of Special Program
 
Emergency School Feeding Programme – Ksh. 400 million
 
Water trucking – Ksh. 400 million
 
Emergency Livestock Off-take – Ksh. 100 million; and
 
Emergency Health & Nutrition Interventions – Ksh. 100 millioniii.
 
The Treasury has further released Ksh. 2.1 billion to NationalIrrigation Board
to facilitate production of more food supplies throughirrigation. We expect, together with on-going planting that most irrigationschemes in Turkana will be able to harvest maize and sorghum by end of October 2011.9. The ministries concerned led by the coordinating Ministry of State for Special Program are expected to move with speed to ensure these interventionsreach the intended Kenyans in time in order to save lives. I wish also to assureKenyans that the Government is committed to working closely with all relief agencies to ensure faster and coordinated delivery of relief food.10. The Government wishes to thank all those Kenyans and corporateorganization who have stepped out to save starving Kenyans. We are indeed, veryencouraged by the overwhelming response and generous support extended byordinary Kenyans and corporate players under the initiative “Kenyans for Kenya” toassist our brothers and sisters under dire need of food.
Medium to Long Term Measures
11. And as we do that we are also planning and initiating programs for the longer term in order to assure food security and transform our country into a food surpluseconomy where people live with dignity.12. First, this year’s budget marks a beginning of a long journey to address foodinsecurity once and for all. We consider access to water and sustainable ways of 

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Julius Too added this note
we always learned from past mistake,but it seems that Kenya will never learn and we are not ready to face any tragedy that occurs.Let us come together and think for a better solution.
Amos Wanyeki added this note
ha we dont miss water till the wells run dry! u see, a wise old man plants a tree that he is sure never to sit in its shaded.how far are we to get here?
Peter Mach liked this

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