By Machuki Dennson
The Kenya Pastoralist Parliamentary Group has today come out to demand to know how the drought emergency fund was used by the government.
Addressing the media today, the Parliamentarians led by their patron Aden Duale have expressed their fears that the deteriorating drought situation has led to conflict for resources thereby hampering peace efforts in the region.
They say the deterioration in the food security situation is attributable to dismal performance of the March-May Long rains season compounded by the effects of COVID-19 and the poor performance of the previous short rains season.
Currently the National Drought and Management Authority NDMA projects that the situation will worsen further and affect 2.4 million people during the October-December Short rains season forecasted to be below normal.
The projected areas to be affected include Marabit, Mandera, Baringo, Kitui, Lamu, Garissa, Wajir, Tana-River, Isiolo, Turkana, West Pokot, Makueni and Samburu counties.
While seeking to know what the National Government response is to the drought situation in the Pastoralist areas, the members made the following demands from the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury & Planning and the Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizen Affairs and Special Programmes to:
- Provide a report on the Kshs. 2 billion released by the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury Planning on 10th September 2021 to support counties affected by the drought. Further, confirm whether the funds so far released is a supplementary appropriation under Article 223 of the Constitution and if so whether the required Parliamentary approval was sought and granted within the stipulated timelines of two months as per Article 223 (2) of the Constitution.
- A comprehensive report including tabulation on total disbursements from 1st July 2021 to date by the National Treasury to relevant government MDAs to mobilize food, water, pasture, and other necessities in the drought-affected counties of Baringo, Kitui, Lamu, Kilifi, Meru North, Nyeri (Kieni), Garissa, Wajir, Tana River, Kwale, Tharaka, Laikipia, Isiolo, Turkana, West Pokot, Taita Taveta, Samburu, Embu (Mbeere), Makueni, Kajiado, Narok, Mandera & Marsabit.
- A comprehensive report by the Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizen Affairs and Special Programmes on the total number of boreholes, water pans, and small dams constructed to address the worsening water situation in Northern Kenya.
- The report should include the total number of people supported per county through cash/food for assets in the 23 drought-affected counties.
The pastoralists leaders have accused the government of not taking any serious intervention while the pangs of hunger are ravaging the people.
They say this is despite that a sum of Ksh 450 Million was released to the Kenya Meat Commission for livestock offtake.
Equally Kshs 350 Million was allocated to the Ministry of Water meant for water trucking to save human and livestock lives. Up to date no desired output has been produced due to various limitations.