Nairobi , 6 July 2017, (PSCU)— First Lady Margaret Kenyatta today received Sh 22.5 million from philanthropists touched by the plight of Kenyans facing food shortages occasioned by poor weather.
The donations were made by various organizations, mainly from the private sector who presented the money to the First Lady at State House Nairobi.
She received the money on behalf of the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) which has been mobilizing resources both locally and internationally to help Kenyans facing insufficient food supplies triggered by rain failure in the last three seasons.
Today’s financial support came from among others the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) who donated Sh 5 million, Oxygen 8 Lotto company ( Sh 2.5 million) , Shop and Deliver Company ( Sh 2 million) and Wrigley Africa Ltd (confectionery company headquartered in Chicago) who gave another Sh 2 million.
Transport Company, Uber Kenya and the Betin Company brought another Sh 1.5 million Each. Retirements Benefits Authority (RBA), the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), Kenya Airline Pilots Association, Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa Franchise, Betway Company, Lucky Lotto, Rambo Resources and the Hillcrest International Schools donated Sh 1 million each.
The Sh one million from Hillcrest Schools included Sh 695,000 mobilized by an 18 year old student Alykhan Bashir whose passion and zeal received special recognition from the First Lady who described his efforts as “amazing”.
So far, the KRCS has mobilized millions of shillings to compliment the Sh 9.2 billion the Government rolled out in February to mitigate effects of harsh weather and food shortages across 13 mostly affected counties.
It had been expected at the time that the March-April rains would improve food supplies .
KRCS Secretary General Dr. Abbas Gullet however said these rains , like in the previous two seasons, had failed and some 3.5 million Kenyans are now faced with food shortages especially in the Arid and Semi Arid (ASAL) parts of the country.
“Currently, 13 million people still need assistance in terms of food supllies”, said Dr. Gullet adding that the invasion of Army worms in the region have compounded the challenges of food shortages.
Currently, said Gullet, Malnutrition in Turkana County has reached a critical level of 38 per cent compared to the globally accepted level of 14 per cent.
Since the effects of harsh weather started affecting millions of Kenyans last year, the resources raised by the KRCS have been used to tackle the challenge in five fronts including Cash Transfers to affected households, supply of nutrition supplements, direct food distribution and sinking and rehabilitating boreholes.
The Society has also been buying off and slaughtering thousands of animals and distributing the meat to the affected communities while preparing for re-stocking .
So far, the Society has reached over 40,000 households under its Sh 3,000 per month Cash Transfer Programme, distributed nutrition supplements to 260,000 individuals, distributed food to 20,000 households and facilitated access to water in 13 counties.
The Society has also bought and slaughtered over 11,000 sheep and goats and another 1000 cattle in the affected areas in readiness for restocking when the weather improves.
The First Lady thanked the donors for their support. She said she was very proud to be associated with efforts by the KRCS.