Kenya declares drought a national disaster

Dead cows at the UN aid relief camp at Bandadero village near Moyale, North Kenya. Last week, the Kenyan government declared the region a 'National Emergency' as the severe drought takes hold. United Nations Agencies (OCHA and World Food Program) with the Kenyan government are providing humanitarian relief and assistance in the badly-hit area near the Ethiopian border. /Giles Clarke/Getty Images for UNOCHA

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday declared drought affecting parts of the country a national disaster.

Data from the ministry of Devolution indicates that at least two million Kenyans from 10 counties have so far been affected by drought.

Following the declaration, President Kenyatta directed the treasury as well as the interior ministry to formulate a plan to assist those affected by drought.

“The President has instructed The National Treasury and the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government to spearhead Government efforts to assist affected households including water and relief food distribution as well as livestock uptake,” a statement from the president’s press office read.

In 2017 when the country experienced one of its worse droughts ever, the President declared it a national disaster.

There have been sustained calls over the past week by leaders and residents in the country’s north asking the president to declare the drought that is currently ravaging the region a national disaster.