Kenya releases extra funds for drought-hit citizens

The Kenyan government says it has released hundreds of millions of shillings to deal with a severe drought situation in 13 counties.

Deputy President William Ruto said today that the government disbursed up to 2 billion shillings for response to the food and water shortages.

He said  more than a million Kenyans in the 13 counties were facing starvation but insisted there was no cause for alarm.

“There is no cause for alarm as the situation is not as bad as it was two years ago,”  he said.

He called on the affected counties to realign their budgets for emergency responses.

A number of people are reported to have died of hunger-related complications in the former Rift Valley Province of Kenya.

According to the Daily Nation newspaper, deaths linked to hunger have been reported in Kamusuk, Kositei and Seretion villages in Baringo County, where four people have died.

“Hundreds of livestock have also perished due to lack of water and pasture,” local chief Jack Ronei told the daily.

According to a report released last week, about 1.1 million people living in the country’s arid and semi-arid region require intervention.