1. The Government through a multi-sectoral approach is coordinating National disaster drought interventions that include: relief food distribution; livestock off-take; water trucking; digging and repair of boreholes to cushion and improve the livelihoods of the over 2.5 Million Kenyans affected from the 23 ASAL Counties.
  2. In the Month of October and November, Government has distributed (89,460) bags of rice, (48,960) bags of beans, and purchased over 8,000 heads of cattle from farmers for the on-going commercial livestock offtake programme.
  3. The current outlook from National Drought and Management Authority (NDMA) and the Kenya Meteorological Department indicate that the drought situation is expected to persist.
  4. Yesterday, the Cabinet Secretary of Defense and Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes witnessed the signing of project agreement between Kenya Meat Commission and Kenya Red Cross Society for implementation of a Ground Slaughter Programme.
  5. The programme targeting the 23 ASAL Counties entails the purchase and slaughter of over 76,667 livestock considered weak, for distribution as relief food to over 766, 667 households.  
  6. The Kenya Red Cross Society using its structures and network of community based volunteers will assist in registration of targeted families, timely payment of farmers and distribution of the relief meat. The programme is expected to; increase the purchasing power of the households in these communities and reduce resource-based conflict in the affected counties.
  7. I am pleased to announce that we have this morning LAUNCHED THE EMERGENCY RELIEF CASH TRANSFER PROGRAM in fulfillment of the Government commitment to shift from food distribution to cash transfer. The cash transfer will be disbursed thought Safaricom Mpesa platform to the identified and registered beneficiaries in the 23 ASALs Counties.
  8. The identification and registration of the affected persons was spearheaded by County Steering Groups under the leadership of the County Commissioners, Relief Committees, and the Kenya Red Cross Society. The identification considered: Households with Elderly persons, sick or disabled persons, malnourished children; Single parent or Child-headed households and not receiving any other form of assistance from other organizations. 
  9. The first cohort of 360,696 households identified for the emergency relief cash transfer program will each receive Kshs 3,000, totaling to the payroll amount of Kshs. 1,082,088,000 (One Billion, Eighty-Two Million and Eighty-Eight Thousand Shillings Only) on monthly basis until the rain situation improves. 
  10. Cash transfers have proven as the most effective way to reach vulnerable persons in times of emergency.  Benefits include:  receipt of assistance in real time; value for money as the beneficiary has choice of purchase; safeguards the dignity of beneficiaries; and stimulates local economy.
  11.  In conclusion, I wish to commend Safaricom for waiving the transaction fees for this first cohort and their commitment to ensure the system will be efficient.
  12. I wish to appreciate the implementing Ministries Departments and Agencies, including the National Treasury, Interior and Coordination, Defense, Information Communication and Technology, Water and Sanitation, and Agriculture among others.  I thank the Kenya Redcross Society for continuing to work with the Government in disaster management. 
  13. Additionally, I thank our partners including the UN Agencies for supporting the Government to deliver on its commitments and our elected leaders from the Pastoralists Parliamentary Group Caucus (PPGC) for your continued collaboration with the Executive.

I Thank You.