The Chinese community in Kenya on Friday gave food donation worth Sh16million to nine counties that are worst hit by drought.
The donation comprised 144 tons of maize and wheat flour as well as cooking oil.
Special Programmes Principal Secretary, Josephta Mukobe and Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, Dr Liu Xianfa saw the flagging off of the donation that is to be distributed to Turkana, Lamu, Marsabit, Isiolo, Baringo, Laikipia, Kitui, Samburu and Narok.
The PS said that at least 2.7 million people from the Arid and Semi Arid (ASAL) areas are affected by drought and another 300,000 from non-ASAL are faced with the devastating situation.
“The most recent drought early warning bulletins of February conclude that 15 of 23 ASAL counties are now in the alarm phase, seven in alert and one normal….Those in need of relief assistance constitute approximately 20 percent of the population in pastoral areas and 18 percent in marginal agricultural areas,” said the PS.
At the moment, she said the government is implementing the second phase of the drought mitigation programme for which the National Treasury has approved a further Sh 7.4 billion against the total needs of Sh11.6 billion.
“This donation received will go a long way to aid the drought situation. We are currently working on a plan to contain the situation which has adversely affected the various parts of the country…I urge Kenyans not to just wait for outsiders to come and help us in mitigating drought. We can also come forward and assist the hunger-stricken areas,” Mukobe urged.
Just last week, the Chinese Government announced Sh2.25 billion emergency humanitarian food aid to Kenya even as it assured that 20,000 tons of rice that which can feed 1.4 million people for a month will soon be delivered into the country.
During the same time, the Chinese Government also gave Sh500 million humanitarian aid to Somalia and South Sudan refugees in the country throught th World Food Program (WFP), the donation becoming the largest food aid China has ever given to Kenya.
“These donations are of goodwill from Chinese nationals in Kenya…We hope that Kenya will recover from the disaster and the vulnerable people will come back to their normal life. China and Kenya will continue working together to meet opportunities and challenges for the good of common prosperity and development,” said the ambassador.