In the wake of public outrage over drought that has ravaged parts of the country, governors have moved to re-assure the public that they are doing everything in their power to mitigate the devastating effects of the drought amid the popular public opinion that the county chiefs could have done more to protect their constituents sooner.
Turkana, Samburu, Wajir, Mandera, Garissa, Baringo, Kilifi, Tana River, West Pokot, Marsabit, Makueni and Kajiado counties have been adversely affected so much that deaths have been reported in the regions, statistics which the national government has claimed are false.
On Tuesday, Kenyans took to twitter to express their anger at the situation in the aforementioned regions under the twitter hashtag #WeCannotIgnore and followed it up with another one on Wednesday #GovernorsofDrought calling out the governors for poor leadership.
#WeCannotIgnore the situation being witnessed is Kenya is cyclical, we will witness the same sad state of affairs again and again: What happened to early warning systems? The Meteorological Department says it gave numerous warnings about the delay in the start of the rain season
— Jamila Mohamed (@JamilaMohamed) March 19, 2019
Consequently, on Wednesday, the Council of Governors (COG) said that counties have distributed a total of 11,740 bags of maize, 1,500 bags of beans and 8,896 bags of rice to affected households to mitigate the effects of the scorching drought.
In a dispatch to newsrooms, the county chiefs also said that affected county governments have deployed water bowsers to distribute water to residents in the most affected sub counties.
According to COG, 290,518 bales of animal feed have been procured and distributed in the affected areas while 241,938 children have been immunized.
“The Council of Governors would like to also appreciate the steps being taken by the national government and other stakeholders to ensure that lives are saved in the affected counties,” reads the news dispatch “The national government in consultation with county governments must come up with a lasting solution so that Kenyans don’t suffer,”
On Monday, the national government denied that the situation is ‘under control’ while National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) CEO James Oduor alleged that ‘the deaths are not as a result of drought’.
“The reports we are getting from the ground is that the deaths cannot be linked directly to drought. The deaths can be linked maybe (sic) to sickness and other issues,” said Oduor.
Deputy President Dr William Ruto said that the government has released Ksh2 billion to mitigate the effects of the drought.
“Funds will ensure adequate distribution of food, life-saving aid to needy populations, water trucking and complement first-line interventions by county governments,” the DP who was accompanied by Devolution, Agriculture and Treasury cabinet secretaries said.