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Garissa Governor Jama commends NGO for supporting drought stricken residents

Tuesday January 31, 2023


Garissa governor Nathif Jama speaking in his office on Monday. Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Garissa governor Nathif Jama has commended NGOs operating in the area for coming to the aid of drought-stricken residents even as he called for doubling of efforts to mitigate against the same.

Speaking when he hosted a team from Alight who paid him a courtesy call in his office on Monday, Jama said that it was encouraging to see more NGOs come on board and support residents who are badly in need of such help.

“It is really encouraging for a new NGO to start off so well, particularly at a time when such support is required,” he said.

newsisnideAlight is a humanitarian non-profitable organization operating in the horn of Africa in Kenya Somalia and Ethiopia where its large operations are.

Jama said that moving forward, he hopes to see more of these kinds of institutions and NGOs come to add real value to the communities.

He said the immediate focus should be on life-saving interventions including water, food and retaining of children in schools.

Jama who is also the chairman of the Arid and semi-arid counties in the council of governors said there is a need for joint efforts by all players to cushion residents from the severe effects of drought.

"We will not get tired of appealing for more help. We call upon the national government, NGOs and other development partners to support those affected,” he said.

Alight deputy country director Abdinoor Abdirahman speaking to the press Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Residents of Banane, Garissa line up to receive food distribution from Alight-an NGO on Monday. Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Abdinoor Abdirahman, Alight deputy country director who had earlier led the team for a food distribution exercise said that a total of 110 families in 14 different centres in the counties of Balambala and Lagdera sub-counties benefited from the exercise.

Abdinoor disclosed that they are currently planning to initiate a Kenyan program which he said was a result of the drought situation currently being witnessed in the larger east Africa region.

“This drought situation currently being experienced in the region is one that has never been seen before. It is for this reason that we plan to provide this assistance to the larger northern Kenya.”

He said the organization was currently working on advocacy for funds as they reach out to several donors to fundraise with the main aim of designing bigger and larger resilience programs.

Going forward once they design the programs that they are currently working on, he said they will focus on cash transfer which he said gives dignity to the people as opposed to relief food distribution comes with logistical challenges.

Nimo Ahmed, the head of logistics in the organization said that women and children are the most affected during the drought period saying that with the help of their donors, they will reach many lives.

Kenya Red Cross has said 400,000 people are staring at starvation in Garissa county.

Nimo Ahmed, the head of logistics in the organization speaking to the press. Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO
Garissa, just like the neighbouring counties in Northeastern did not receive adequate rainfall during the last October – November short rain season.

As a result, most of the earth pans did not collect any water and most of the grazing land did not grow any pasture for the livestock.

Last week, the National Drought and Management Authority flagged off water bowsers which will supply water to far-flung settlements in the county.

In the past, the concentration of people and livestock in certain areas has caused conflicts among the pastoral communities competing for limited resources and water.


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