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Quit chronic complaining and tackle drought in northern Kenya counties – Business Daily

Turkana Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai kicking off relief food distribution programme for Turkana East Sub County at Lotiman village on October 9, 2022. PHOTO | SAMMY LUTTA | NMG
Leaders from northern Kenya counties were recently on national TV asking President William Ruto to declare drought that is ravaging the region a national disaster.
As happened in the past, they are doing so in the hope humanitarian aid will flow in. That the affected regions have traditionally been marginalised doesn’t need to be belaboured. The marginalisation has been blamed on neglect by the post-independence administrations.
But with the advent of devolution, leaders from northern Kenya cannot keep on complaining about marginalisation or accusing the national government.
One of the major problems with our counties is a lack of long-term planning. They have no disaster preparedness plans and do not practise prudent utilisation of the devolved funds. In the first procurement advertised by new Wajir county government, for example, it is seeking consultancy services for county human resource audit situation and review and of all pending bills.
While these two tenders may be necessary, the timing is wrong. Coming at a time when a large proportion of the population in the county is facing pangs of hunger, it reeks of insensitivity for the county leadership to spend millions of shillings on consultants.
The signs of the drought were there only that they were ignored. Drought occurs when the rains fail for between two to three seasons. Droughts occur all over the world, even in developed countries but they don’t necessarily lead to famine.
Famine is a scarcity of food that leads to hunger for both humans and livestock. This mainly happens in Africa. Frequent droughts are usually followed by heavy rains which in turn cause floods that end up either destroying people’s lives or killing them. Experience shows that these events have become a vicious cycle.
Blaming marginalisation and famine on national government is no longer acceptable in this era of devolution.
Wajir County has been allocated Sh11.6 billion in the 2022/23 financial year against a population of 720,000 compared to Kiambu County which received Sh12.7 billion against a population of 2.4 million, for example.
Famine in this region can be managed if well planned through provision of food, water for people and fodder, water and offtake markets for livestock.
Despite these huge allocations, county governments in northern Kenya cannot provide water for our people and livestock.
Fundraising is being done by individuals, clan members, mosques through pay-bill numbers, the Red Cross, the national government and international agencies.
The writer is founder of Umma Consult.




Financial.co.kewas founded by Mr. Jospeh Muongi Kamau. He holds a Master of Science in Finance, Bachelors of Science in Actuarial Science and a Certificate of proficiencty in insurance.