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Government allocates Sh450 for relief food distribution program

Phase one of the relief food distribution and cash transfers in the 23 ASAL counties saw an allocation of over Kshs. 1.2 billion and over 2.8 million Kenyans benefited from it.

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A past relief food distribution program

The National Government will roll out phase two of the relief food distribution program with an allocation of Ksh. 450 million starting next week. This is aimed at mitigating the impact of drought in the country.

The distribution will cover 23 Arid and Semi-Arid (ASAL) counties and other pocket vulnerable areas like Kieni, Mbita, Nyatike, Turkana, Taita Taveta, and Coast regions.

Principal Secretary (PS), State Department for Social Protection, Senior Citizens Affairs, and Special Programmes, Mr Nelson Marwa, noted the country’s ongoing unprecedented drought period.

“The government is determined to ensure that no Kenyan dies of hunger and has offered immediate food, water, medicare, and livestock offtake programs. The streamlined distribution is well-coordinated, seamless, and monitored to ensure the food is tracked from the point of transfers to the grassroots level,” PS Marwa said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the drought a natural calamity in September last year. The National Treasury and the Ministry of Interior spearheaded government efforts to assist affected households with water, relief food distribution, and livestock update.

Research and collaboration are key interventions in the enhancement of early warning systems that could help the country reduce hunger and distressed migration as a result of drought.

The Government is also taking a multi-agency approach to provide long-term solutions to end the frequent drought emergencies. Through collaborating with research institutions, the government has introduced adaptive mechanisms for sustainable livelihoods as coping mechanisms for communities in drought-stricken areas and across the country.

National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) Ag. Director Technical Services, Lembara Saiyana, said, “we are working with research arms to identify additional adaptive crop varieties and livestock species for the diversified ecological zones. This will focus on the distribution of diversified animal breeds that are fast-growing and have a dual purpose for sustainable livelihoods. We are promoting the provision of livestock feeding support to increase productivity within a particular unit area and utilization of low feeds while still maintaining a certain production level.”

Five million farmers have received input subsidy support under the Kenya Agriculture Insurance and Risk Mitigation project (KAIP), funded to a tune of Ksh. 3 billion. The seven-year project is aimed at promoting crop insurance, offering subsidy support to farmers for crop insurance, and assessing crop losses for compensation by insurance companies.

An additional 120,000 people have also benefited from the Kenya Livestock Insurance Programme rolled out in 8 Arid and Semi-Arid (ASAL) counties, where the government injected a whopping Ksh. 4.5 billion to reduce the risks of livestock mortality emanating from drought and to build the resilience of over 18,000 households of vulnerable pastoralists.

Mr Saiyana additionally acknowledged that the government was working on increasing knowledge and skills to communities to use climate-related information to improve their drought resilience. This will allow them to make different crop choices, enrol in crop insurance, and partake in other farm risk management practices.

Through participatory rangeland management, the government is promoting alternatives to assist local households to be self-sufficient economically and nutritionally.

“We are experiencing an increase in population and a decrease in land parcels for production. This has prompted the promotion of small-scale farming units, climate-smart agriculture, and apiculture as alternatives to assist local households to sustain themselves monetarily and have food affluence,” Mr Saiyana noted.

Through the Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Project (DRSLP), targeting about 169,000 households, the government has purposefully injected Ksh. 5.4 billion for infrastructure development and capacity building.

The 10-year project, in six counties including Marsabit, Isiolo, Samburu, is supporting them with the establishment of commercial pasture demonstration farms, construction of water pans, development of irrigation infrastructure, livestock sale yards, and drilling and equipping of boreholes and shallow wells.

Phase one of the relief food distribution and cash transfers in the 23 ASAL counties saw an allocation of over Kshs. 1.2 billion and over 2.8 million Kenyans benefited from it.

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Uhuru Gardens ready for Madaraka Day fete, says PS Kibicho

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Madaraka Day

This year’s national Madaraka Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi County will be open to 30,000 people, up from 10,000 in 2021.

Permanent Secretary in the State Department for Interior, Dr Karanja Kibicho, said this follows the relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures.

“Children will also be allowed in on the celebrations this year, and we expect county celebrations to happen too,” the PS said while on an inspection tour of the venue.

The PS said the government decided to move the celebrations from the County rotational back to Nairobi because it will be the last event for the current administration before it exits office.

“Because of the significance of this particular Madaraka day, being the last for this regime, we decided to celebrate it at Uhuru Gardens to break the tradition of celebrating it in counties,”

He revealed that preparations were currently at 90 percent complete and expressed confidence that all will be set for the event as the country marks 59 years of self rule.

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Queen Elizabeth mourns Kibaki as a great Statesman with commendable legacy

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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Queen Elizabeth II has mourned former President the late Mwai Kibaki eulogizing him as “a great statesman”.

“I was sorry to receive the news of the death of Mwai Kibaki. He had a lifelong record of service to the Kenyan people. It will be of deep sadness to your country to have lost a great statesman, but Kenya can take pride in the legacy of his leadership. I send you and the people of Kenya my condolences at this loss,” the message read.

The British High Commission further affirmed its close ties to Kenya and renewed its assurances to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The British High Commission avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya the assurances of its highest consideration,” the High Commission said.

The late Kibaki passed away on 21 April 2022, aged 90.

President Uhuru, who issued a proclamation that he would be granted a state funeral with full civilian and military honours, announced his death.

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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Safaricom partners with Zeraki Learning for Digital Learning platform

This digital platform seeks to provide topic-by-topic assessments and powerful metrics to help students diagnose their weaknesses and track their progress.

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Safaricom Technology for Development, Senior Manager,l Benjamin Makai,Zeraki learning Chief Operations officer Erick Oude and Safaricom Product Manager Kennedy Kahura together test the newly launched video learning app on tablet during the launch of the Zeraki learning digital platform at Kenya Institute of Curriculum development.PHOTO/Courtesy.

Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has partnered with Zeraki Learning to enable secondary school learners access affordable education services from well trained teachers and informative video lessons.

This digital platform seeks to provide topic-by-topic assessments and powerful metrics to help students diagnose their weaknesses and track their progress.

“Our investments in education, both from a solutions and philanthropic perspective, are geared towards addressing current gaps and boost youth employability. Through the partnership with Zeraki Learning we want to ensure that the platform makes digital education accessible and affordable. For parents, Zeraki gives them access to their child’s academic record which they can use to support their decisions”, said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.

Safaricom has added a touchpoint within MySafaricom App which will enable parents and guardians to subscribe for the service for as low as KES 20 a day. The amount can be deducted from customers’ airtime/postpaid bill or via M-PESA

“We are glad to be able to extend our services to Safaricom customers in a bid to make learning accessible to students from all backgrounds. By leveraging on Safaricom’s technology and platform and pairing it with our services, we will provide a solution that we hope will have a positive impact in Kenya,” said Isaac Nyangolo, CEO, Zeraki Learning.

Zeraki analytics offers the latest system of compiling and analyzing students’ data by providing an interface for results analysis, marks entry, and bulk messaging to parents. For the teachers, Zeraki analytics results gives them a new and easy way to analyze and visualize exam results.

The platform is available in the education section of MySafaricom App under the discover tab and on www.safaricom.com/elimu

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