Kenyan President William Ruto has tasked his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua, with the formation of a taskforce to tackle the impacts of drought in the country.
Ruto announced the assignment in an address on Sunday at State House in Nairobi, where he held a thanks giving ceremony for the August 9 election, which he won to succeed Uhuru Kenyatta as President.
“I have asked my deputy to put together the teams so that we can work on our drought situation that is threatening many people. We have arranged some food. We are working with the governors on the ground and other leaders to make sure that no Kenyan dies because of hunger,” said Ruto.
Kenya is among other countries in the Horn of African region that have been hit by historic drought affecting more than 36 million people.
According to the United Nations at least 24.1 million in Ethiopia, 7.8 million in Somalia, and 4.2 million in Kenya, will be affected by severe drought in October.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the figure represents a significant increase from July when an estimated 19.4 million people were affected by drought.
The drought conditions have created a food crisis in parts of the region, with food prices, which were already rising due to the impacts of COVID-19 and the Ukraine conflict, going even higher.
The drought situation in Kenya has also led to the deaths of livestock in the northeastern region, leaving pastoral communities devastated.