A man pulls a donkey with jerrycans for water transportation in Kibwezi, Makueni County, Kenya, Nov. 1, 2021. (Xinhua/Mukoto Imbova)

A man pulls a donkey with jerrycans for water transportation in Kibwezi, Makueni County, Kenya, Nov. 1, 2021. (Xinhua/Mukoto Imbova)

Kenya’s drought victims are expected to rise to 3.5 million people by the end of May based on the meteorological department weather outlook, a senior government official said on Monday.

About 2.8 million people in the country’s 23 arid and semi-arid counties are in need of food and water relief, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said.

“Kenya’s drought situation has been caused by a situation of below-normal rains which began last year and is likely to persist this year,” he said during a meeting with development partners.

Kenya’s drought situation has been induced by climate change, which has increased the amount and frequency of extreme weather conditions, Matiangi said.

He said a hybrid program of cash transfer and food distribution involving mobile network operators has been adopted to expedite access to relief for targeted recipients.

Identified households will receive monthly stipends to enable them to purchase food and other essential items, Matiangi said.

To improve the resilience of communities affected by drought, the government has earmarked construction of dams that will store rainwater for use during dry spells, he said.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency