Information, Communication and Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo has launched a food distribution programme at Wagai Market in Gem Constituency within Siaya County.
CS Owalo said the move which was on behalf of President William Ruto is meant to cushion residents from hunger pangs due to the ongoing drought situation in the country.
Present during the distribution exercise was area MP Elisha Odhiambo, former MP Eng. Nicholas Gumbo, former Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma, former Kisumu Senator Fred Outa, and newly appointed Lake Basin Development Authority Chairman James Waore Diang’a.
Last week the CS launched a food distribution in the Nyanza region targeting more than 60,000 homesteads in the Nyatike Constituency of Migori County alone.
He explained that the government had a set agenda of economic development meant to address agricultural production, mining, and the fishing sector in the Lake basin region.
The Sub County was allocated a total of 1680 bags of rice and beans that will serve an estimated population of 60,000 in Nyatike South and the larger Nyatike Constituency.
The drought situation continues to deteriorate in twenty-one (21) of the 23 ASAL counties. This is attributed to the four failed consecutive seasons, and the late-onset and poorly distributed 2022 short rains season.
The number of people in need of food assistance stands at 4.35 million currently, and the impacts of the anticipated short rains in 2022 are expected to increase or decrease in these numbers.
Fourteen (14) counties namely; Laikipia, Marsabit, Garissa, Isiolo, Kilifi, Kwale, Samburu, Tana River, Tharaka Nithi, Turkana, Wajir, Kitui, Kajiado, and Mandera are classified under Alarm drought phase, seven (7) counties including Embu, Narok, Taita Taveta, Makueni, Meru, Nyeri, and Lamu are in the Alert drought phase.
The remaining two (2) counties including Baringo and West Pokot are in the Normal drought phase.
Acute malnutrition has also been noted across the counties with 942,000 cases of children aged 6-59 months acutely malnourished and 134,000 cases of pregnant or lactating women acutely malnourished and in need of treatment.