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Women, Children Worst Hit By Drought In the Country

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Civil Society Groups are now demanding accountability and quick intervention in the ongoing drought situation in the 23 ASAL Counties describing the situation as dire.

ASAL Humanitarian Network claims that over 2.5 Million people are affected with women and children being the worst hit by the on-going drought.

‘‘The ASAL Humanitarian Network (AHN) mobilized its members and the wider Kenyan community in an online campaign to raise awareness and demand accountability on the ongoing drought facing ASAL Counties. With over 2.5 million people in 23 ASAL Counties affected and numbers are expected to continue rising, the AHN is concerned by the little or no response from the authorities,’’ the statement reads

‘‘The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the situation by restricting access to health and nutrition services, a slowdown in trade and losses of   income and livelihoods due to measures put in place to control the spread of the virus. The locust, COVID-19 and drought crises come at a time when Kenya is grappling with a growing debt and fiscal crisis.’’ It continues.

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Jane Meriwas from Samburu Women Trust says women cannot access medical care and that insecurity has risen as community members scramble for pasture and water.

“We must say that all is not well women and children cannot access medical facilities due to distance and insecurities….and we want government to move fast and help us  address the drought situation with long-term approach…we want Kenya Meat Commission to buy our livestock before they die .. Livestock is our source of livelihood,” Meriwas said.

They have further called on the government to increase the stipends given to those affected saying it’s not enough.

‘‘While we take note and appreciate that national media reports of government action immediately after our online #DroughtKE21 campaign where the government committed to disburse cash stipends to households targeting 369,000 vulnerable households and 734,119 individuals every two months, the entitlements people are receiving are not sufficient to cover immediate household needs,’’ it reads in part.

By Allan Otieno

VIDEO OF THE DAY; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brBc-pIgLPg

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