Kenya Red Cross is set to begin a cash transfer program to over 750 households that have been hard hit by the drought in Ganze sub-county.
The programme targets the elderly who are not in the National government cash transfer programme and mothers with children below three years.
Each household will get Sh. 5500 for two months.
Kenya Red Cross Society Coast regional manager Hassan Musa said so far over 75,000 households (350,000 people) have been affected by the drought in the Coast region.
“What we are going to do as Kenya Red Cross is that we are going to help over 750 households by giving them cash for two months, each family will get Sh. 5500 for two months,” he said.
Musa said the number of beneficiaries is few compared to the 145,000 people affected in Kilifi county but revealed that they target the most vulnerable including expectant mothers, those with children under five years, and the elderly.
He said they would wish to reach out to everyone but for now, they target those hard hit and who require urgent intervention.
Musa hailed the government for declaring the drought a national disaster as more resources will be allocated for intervention and reduce deaths of people from starvation.
Currently, he expressed optimism that school children who are unable to go to school due to hunger will get relief from humanitarian organizations and wellwishers and remain in school.
He said the drought has been worse this year because of the effects of climate change adding that the same victims are the ones who suffered due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Musa warned that the situation might get worse by November if there will be no rainfall as farmers will continue suffering.
So far he said there has been a rise in cases of animals dying as a result of drought and expressed fear that even humans could begin dying if caution is not taken.
Musa said four counties have been affected out of the six counties including Kwale, Kilifi Tanariver, and Lamu.
In Kilifi alone, he said 145,000 are affected while Lamu 20,500, Kwale 165,000, and Tanariver 107,000 though he said the number could be more.
He said Kilifi has lost 6000 cattle and goats followed by Tanariver with 3000 animals adding that Tanariver and Lamu lose more animals because of pastoralists moving to those areas in search of pasture.
The manager said drought victims are also faced with acute water shortage and even though there are interventions there is more that needs to be done.
“In the Boni forest, there are cases of Bilharzia which have been reported, over 45 people have contracted the disease due to drinking dirty water,” he said.
Currently, he said there is a conflict as animals share water with humans and 80 percent of water pans are dry leaving them to share the remaining water sources.