Sh2.5bn needed to avert hunger

Of the amount, Sh381 mil­lion should be used to im­prove health and nu­tri­tion pro­grammes in 15 coun­ties – NDMA

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics | Ministries - JOHN MUCHANGI @jo­munji

At least Sh2.5 bil­lion is re­quired to deal with the ef­fects of food short­age be­tween now and Jan­uary next year, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment es­ti­mates.

Al­though short rains are ex­pected in a month’s time, the Na­tional Drought Man­age­ment Author­ity says it will not be enough to end a loom­ing short­age.

“Sta­ple food prices re­main high, and in­comes from live­stock and milk sales re­main low. Food con­sump­tion will de­cline as more house­holds in­creas­ingly rely on cop­ing strate­gies to fill the gaps,” the NDMA says in its 2017 Long Rains Sea­son As­sess­ment Re­port.

Of the Sh2.5 bil­lion, at least Sh381 mil­lion should be used to scale-up health and nutritional pro­grammes in at least 15 worst-hit coun­ties, the author­ity says.

A to­tal of Sh459 mil­lion is needed to scale-up farm­ing in arid coun­ties. The NDMA said part of the money should go into pro­vi­sion of early ma­tur­ing and drought tol­er­ant crops, pro­vi­sion of relief seed, fer­tiliser and farm in­put and land prepa­ra­tion sub­sidy.

The author­ity also pro­poses that farm­ers be pro­vided with chem­i­cals to stop the fall army­worms dur­ing the short rains.

The author­ity says the mea­sures are im­por­tant to pre­vent mal­nu­tri­tion and loss of live­stock as the coun­try heads to Jan­uary – the be­gin­ning of the dry sea­son.

“The na­tional food se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion re­mains un­sta­ble. This has been evolv­ing since the er­ratic long rains in 2016 that re­sulted in maize pro­duc­tion of 10 per cent be­low av­er­age,” the re­port says. The author­ity says from the Sh2.5 bil­lion, at least Sh964 mil­lion should be used to buy and dis­trib­ute emer­gency supplementary feed con­cen­trates, molasses and salt for an­i­mals.

The money would also be used for emer­gency live­stock off-take and to pre­vent dis­ease trans­mis­sion.

The author­ity said Sh405 mil­lion will be needed to truck water and re­ha­bil­i­tate bore­holes across the coun­try. A fur­ther Sh50 mil­lion should be used to en­hance peace in Wa­jir, Isi­olo, Laikipia, Lamu, Baringo and Sam­buru.

The re­port comes as the me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal de­part­ment said most parts of the coun­try are likely to ex­pe­ri­ence “good rains that will be well-dis­trib­uted”, both in time and space from Oc­to­ber to Novem­ber.

THE AUTHOR­ITY SAYS FROM AT LEAST SH964 MIL­LION SHOULD BE USED TO BUY AND DIS­TRIB­UTE EMER­GENCY SUPPLEMENTARY FEED, MOLASSES AND SALT FOR AN­I­MALS

/ENOS TECHE

A cus­tomer se­lects food items from as shelve in Car­refour Su­per­mar­ket, Nairobi, on Satur­day

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