Defence Principal Secretary Patrick Mariru has reassured the Ministry’s support to help mitigate the ongoing drought in the country termed as the worst to ever hit the nation in four decades.
The PS noted that the drought is a national issue that requires joint efforts from all stakeholders affirming that the Ministry through the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has the capacity and capability which shall be tapped to drill new boreholes and rehabilitate the faulty ones in the regions worst hit by the drought
Mr. Mariru was Speaking during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chairman of the National Steering Committee on Drought Response Mr. Peter Ndegwa at Defence Headquarters Nairobi.
Through the MoU, the PS said the Ministry shall further construct dams and water-pans for water harvesting and provide transport and logistics services to supply food to drought-stricken areas with challenging terrain.
“The Ministry has supported this initiative before but we shall still offer more support to our fellow Kenyans until we fully mitigate the situation. We therefore call for concerted efforts from other partners including the media to help save the situation,” said the PS.
The Vice Chief of Defence Forces (VCDF) Lieutenant General Francis Ogolla noted that the KDF personnel forfeited a one-day pay to contribute over Sh130 million to the kitty in support of Kenyans in the affected counties.
He maintained that the military is ready and willing to support in transporting the relief food adding that over 22 vehicles shall be availed for the purpose.
The Chairman of the National Steering Committee on Drought Response (NSCDR) Mr. Peter Ndegwa thanked the Ministry for ensuring the country is secure and for their continued efforts to support national noble causes such as airlifting of relief food to far-flung counties in the country.
Mr. Ndegwa, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Safaricom, highlighted that the National Steering Committee is a private sector-led organisation mandated by the president to mobilize resources and cooperate with other stakeholders to distribute food and other essential supplies.
He said that the committee’s statistics have revealed that over 6 million people have been affected even from the areas that traditionally were regarded as food baskets thus the support of the Ministry is a necessity.
“We are looking for long-term measures that shall make the country food secure. That’s why we are calling on the Kenya Defence Forces to assist in providing water which shall be used, not only during this situation but even in the future,” said Mr. Ndegwa.
Others who attended the meeting include the Assistant Chief of Defence Forces in charge of Personnel and Logistics (ACDF P&L) Major General Muthuri Kiugu, Secretary Administration Mr.Boniface Wambua, Chief of Legal Services, Brigadier Yvonne Kerubo, Chief of Logistics Brigadier Peter Githinji and other members of the Steering Committee.