NAIROBI, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Kenya said on Wednesday it has spent 1.88 billion shillings (18.8 million U.S. dollars) to ease effects of biting drought that is affecting at least 1.1 million citizens.
Eugene Wamalwa, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Devolution and ASALs, said though the country was headed for a worse situation as per the experts' prediction over delayed rains, the government has provided the funds towards various drought mitigation interventions.
"The government has released 6 million dollars to purchase 26,200 bags of maize, 17,060 bags of beans and 15,420 bags of rice which had already been given out as relief," Wamalwa told journalists in Nairobi.
He said that another 6 million dollars had been channeled to the ministry of agriculture towards putting up water pans for household for water storage, as well as some 6.8 million dollars had been released to the water ministry towards water trucking, and rehabilitation of damaged boreholes.
This came after the World Bank said the country's economic growth is expected to marginally ease in 2019 owing largely to jitters in agricultural productivity from the delayed onset of long-rains.
Wamalwa, however, dispelled fears that drought will result in the reduction in economic growth, saying the drought situation was worse in 2016 and 2017.
"The situation is not as worse than it was in 2017 when over 3.5 million Kenyans were badly affected compared to 1.1 million this year," he said.