Wamalwa warns of drought after ongoing rains

Alvin Mwangi @PeopleDailyKe

Devolution Cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa has warned that the drought situation experienced earlier in the year will return despite the long rains, which have pounded parts of the country.

The CS said weather experts say the rains will only last until end of this month and the country will start experiencing a biting drought by July.

Wamalwa warned that the drought would be experienced in more than the 13 counties that were earlier affected. “In May, we experienced some rains that have brought some relief to arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) counties,” he said.

The minister spoke on Monday in his office while handing over a report on emergency humanitarian rice donated by the People’s Republic of China to mitigate the effects of the 2017/18 drought.

Provided rice

He said the June and July 2016 drought situation was unique with effects such as wiping out livestock feeds, which affected milk production, and total depletion of vegetation along the coastal area.

“By February 2017, the situation had affected around 0.6 million people and were, therefore, in need of assistance due to diminishing rainfall,” he said.

Wamalwa added that an assessment was undertaken in February 2017, which revealed that 1.3 million people were in need of relief food. A mid-season assessment indicated that 3.5 million people were in need of food assistance. “The Chinese government came to our aid and provided parboiled rice worth Sh2.25 billion,” he said.

Hit by drought

Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Wu Peng said: “This year Kenya is hit by another drought and the Chinese people have contributed Sh2.5 billion worth of rice to the country with the first consignment having arrived on May 19.”

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