Economy

Yatani summoned over Sh2bn relief expenditure for drought victims

yatani

Ministry of National Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

Summary

  • The amount was released by the National Treasury on September 10, 2021, to support counties affected by the drought.
  • The released funds were to support mobilisation of food, water and other necessities for families affected by drought.
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta in September declared the drought a national disaster.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has summoned the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani over Sh2 billion released to support 2.4 million Kenyans in counties affected by drought.

Speaker Muturi’s directive comes after Garissa Township MP Aden Duale, who had requested for the statement, sought his intervention claiming that Mr Yatani had not honoured invitations to appear before the House Committee on Finance and National Planning to explain the expenditure.

The released funds were to support mobilisation of food, water and other necessities for families affected by drought.

“Let summons be issued for the CS to appear before the committee on Wednesday at 10am,” directed Speaker Muturi.

The amount was released by the National Treasury on September 10, 2021, to support counties affected by the drought.

The affected counties include Baringo, Kitui, Lamu, Garissa, Wajir, Tana-River, Isiolo, Turkana, West Pokot, Makueni, Marsabit, Samburu, and Mandera. President Uhuru Kenyatta in September declared the drought a national disaster.

Consequently, the Treasury and the Ministry of Interior were instructed to spearhead the Government efforts to assist the affected households including water and relief food distribution as well as livestock uptake.

Mr Duale also wants the CS to confirm whether the funds so far released are a supplementary appropriation under Article 223 of the Constitution.

The National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) projects that the situation in these drought-ravaged counties could worsen further and affect over 2.4 million people.

The NDMA statistics are based on the fact that the October-December short rains season is forecasted to be below normal in counties.

Mr Duale told the House that Mr Yatani’s failure to appear before the House committee does not augur well for the affected Kenyans.

Mr Yatani was required before the committee chaired by Homabay County Woman MP Gladys Wanga to provide statistics of how food, water, and animal feed components are being distributed in the affected areas.

The CS was also required to provide an update on the animal off-take by the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC).

The deterioration in the food security situation is also attributed to the dismal performance of the March-May long rains season compounded by the effects of Covid-19 and the poor performance of the previous short rains season.

In the current financial year, the National Assembly, in June this year allocated Sh8.9 billion for the climate-smart agricultural productivity project, Sh1.1 billion to enhance drought resilience and sustainable livelihood and Sh178.0 million for ending drought emergencies in Kenya.

Further, Sh529.5 million were allocated for the livestock and crop insurance scheme to reduce the vulnerabilities of Kenyan farmers to diseases and natural disasters.

The scheme targets compensation for 100,000 livestock- camel, cattle, sheep, goat in the affected 10 counties.

Under the State Department for Development of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs), the National Assembly allocated Sh5.8 billion for drought management in the current financial year compromising Sh4.1 billion for Kenya's hunger safety net programme targeting 125,850 beneficiary households.

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