The Cabinet Secretary for East African Community, the ASALs and Regional Development Ms. Rebecca Miano has urged communities to join Government efforts to increase the tree cover as a first step towards mitigating challenges posed by climate change.
The CS was speaking in Ganze Subcounty of Kilifi during launch of relief supplies to 4,000 food insecure households (about 20,000 people) in Bamba Ward.
“The effects of global warming and climate change are becoming increasingly manifest in our country. This is especially evident in the increased frequency and severity of droughts that make it extremely difficult for our ecosystems to recover and regenerate,” the CS said.
The CS noted that every successive drought further erodes the resilience cushion of communities.
“Miti ni uhai. I challenge every family here to plant at least 5 trees before the rain season ends,” the CS said.
The relief supplies were provided by Safaricom Foundation with resources mobilised under the ongoing Pamoja Tuungane campaign. Kilifi is among counties classified in ALARM drought phase, with Ganze, Magarini, Kaloleni and Malindi subcounties being hardest hit. The supplies targeted Bamba, Mtsara wa Tsatu, Ndingiria, Mitangani and Bandari locations, where each family received a food hamper worth Ksh6,367.
Each hamper consisted of; 10 packets pure wimbi flour, 2 kilos of sugar, 10 kilos of rice, 10 kilos of maize flour, 5 kilos of beans, vegetable oil, a kilo of salt and 4 packets of sanitary towels. The supplies are expected to cushion the families for about a month.
Scale up of response interventions
CS Miano assured the community that the Government with support from the private sector, development partners, and other non-state actors continues to scale up response interventions to cushion citizens affected by drought. She thanked the Safaricom Foundation and all other stakeholders for complementing ongoing drought response efforts and invited more actors to come on board.
“I unreservedly thank Safaricom Foundation for mobilising resources to complement ongoing relief efforts. This is indeed a welcome Christmas gift that will go a long way towards cushioning affected families,” CS Miano said.
She also acknowledged the other stakeholders that have been supporting drought response interventions in the county including Plan International, Give Directly, UNICEF, WFP, World vision and Kenya Red Cross, among others.
“I also note that some of these organisations have been disbursing cash transfers to families in the most affected sub-counties. This is in line with the Government shift to the use of cash transfers, where possible. Disbursement of cash allows families the latitude to choose their food needs and enables them to meet those needs in dignity,” she said.
The CS was accompanied by NDMA Chief Executive Officer Lt Col (rtd) Hared Hassan and Safaricom Foundation Director for Sustainable Business and Social Impact Ms Karen Basiye. Besides Kilifi, Safaricom Foundation has previously supported families in Marsabit and Isiolo counties.