At the beginning of September, the president of Kenya declared the drought a national disaster following a national rainfall report.
NAIROBI, Kenya, September 28, 2021 – The International Rescue Committee is concerned about the growing humanitarian needs following months of droughts in parts of Kenya. At the beginning of September, the president of Kenya declared the drought a national disaster following a national rainfall report. Due to the poor rainfall and low crop production, 2.1 million Kenyans are facing acute food insecurity in the next 6 months.
Mohammed El Montassir Hussein, IRC Kenya Country Director said
“This drought is reminiscent of the great famine of 2011 – we are very concerned about the growing humanitarian needs as people move out of the hometowns in search of places closer to water sources. Livestock are dying and men, women and children are going hungry and thirsty. Across the eastern and southern parts of the country the rains received were as little as 51% of what is expected.
“Lamu Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu, Isiolo, Wajir, Garissa, Tana River, Kilifi and Taita Taveta counties received amounts that were as little as 26% of normal rainfall. Turkana and Garissa are both refugee-hosting counties which put the already vulnerable refugee population at further risk given planned closure of the camps in May 2022. Many people living in these areas rely heavily on crops as a source of nutrition and livelihoods, and the droughts have resulted in below-average crop production. Household stocks are up to 66% below average for all crops. And this is worse in the coastal region. High food prices coupled with declining livestock prices have impacted negatively on households’ ability to buy basic necessities. Earlier than normal migration of up to 60% of livestock mainly in search of pasture and water has intensified insecurity and conflict as well as high risk of livestock diseases.
“Climate change is the main driver of the erratic and recurring droughts, and has been partly attributed to the recent locust outbreaks in East Africa, causing widespread food insecurity. Climate change also contributes to poor health outcomes. Rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns are likely to exacerbate the spread of vector-borne diseases such as dengue and malaria. Lack of access to clean water will lead to higher incidence of diarrhea, a major cause of death for children under 5. Coupled with the destruction of fragile ecosystems, the changing climate has a profound impact on the occurrence of viruses like COVID-19 that emerge from animals.
“We must prepare for future climate emergencies, with communities given financial support and decision-making power. Local leaders (particularly indigenous populations), smallholder farmers and livestock herders already have the knowledge and experience necessary to confront this crisis.
“Future response to climate change must also be feminist, recognizing the unique and disproportionate ways women are impacted. As farmers, carers or activists, women (and women-led organizations) are central to food security and effective climate change mitigation.
“A secure aid budget – fulfilled in line with the internationally endorsed target of 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) – and risk-informed financing that can be quickly deployed, is critical to mitigating the impact of future shocks. Investing now to tackle hunger and food insecurity resulting from climate shocks will save time, money and lives in the long run. We are in urgent need of funding to be able to meet basic humanitarian needs and mitigate the impact of future shocks.”
The IRC has been working in Kenya since 1992, providing health care, women’s protection, legal rights, economic recovery & development and nutrition services to hundreds of thousands of refugees and their host communities. We also work with the Kenyan government to support health, nutrition and conflict resolution programs. The IRC is focusing our efforts on the Turkana, Garissa, West Pokot, Kajiado and Nairobi Counties by providing emergency health care, supporting community health projects that improve nutrition, sanitation and access to medicine; educating people about HIV/AIDS and other diseases; fostering conflict resolution to make communities safe for women and children; providing primary education for children and specialized classes and job training for youth and adults and advocating for the rights of refugees in the capital, Nairobi, and other urban areas.
Today the Court of Appeal final orders on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) which has been a fixated feature of Kenyan politics since the Handshake of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition Leader Raila Odinga. That shocked the people and made the BBI a possible targeted.
The Court of Appeals was in favour of the Judgement of the High Court. This meaning the whole BBI is an unconstitutional endeavour. The President did an unconstitutional act by initiating and promoting constitutional changes. The BBI Steering Committee was an unconstitutional and unlawful entity. Certainly, the same should be directed to the BBI Task-Force as well, but not mentioned in the pages dropped on Twitter.
So, again the BBI is said to be unlawful and unconstitutional. By that definition the whole process and all the time spent on this. Is a total failure of the Jubilee and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). They acted without the popular demand and without the measures needed to amend the constitution. This being done by supposed scholars and lawmakers. The President a former MP and the same is Odinga. They have both in the halls of power and they should know the articles of Constitution. So, that if they wanted the Constitution to be amended, they would follow procedure and protocol.
Instead the peace-offering and the handshake was so powerful. That the two gentlemen and their parties felt the euphoria and wanted another high. They felt like they owned the Republic and could rule the world. Therefore, they thought they could easily change the rules and legislation without proper protocol.
Now it is evident that they did it the wrong way and not done by law. The gentlemen in question tried to change the constitution, by not following the same constitution they wanted to change. The President should have enough advisors and legal scholars to tell him what to do. Instead, he has tried to circumvent and used the BBI as a tool to get the amendments the leaders wanted.
However, BBI by this second court order it should be taken into a casket and put six feet under. The BBI isn’t only on the death-bed, but deceased and need to be buried. The casket is ready to be dropped. The reggae is now stopping.
What is striking is that this has been the main topic for the Second Term of President Kenyatta. This has been the real prospect and proof of policy during this term. Kenyatta and Odinga has invested everything in this. The Jubilee hasn’t delivered the “Big Four” or anything else they really promised in the 2017 elections. Therefore, the BBI was the …. gift that was giving, but now it’s just poison.
That’s because the BBI was built on a false premise. The BBI was fake and fraud, a unconstitutional constitutional amendment drive, which is epically backfiring. The leaders of men has not only failed this enterprise, but wasted the whole time doing this. The BBI is a proof of how not run government and pay-off your opposition. They are both losers in this… and the Kenyan citizens has paid the Committee and Task-Force.
Kenyatta and Odinga is the ones that needs to carry this cross. They have been working on overtime for this. Holding campaign meetings and consultations. They have hired people and acted like supreme overlords. However, nobody is above the law and even them has to honour the codes. That is what it striking here.
Lessons should be learned. The BBI should be school-yard example of how not make constitutional amendments.
Can somebody please bury the BBI and everything that reminds us of it. It has been an expensive and a time consuming enterprise leading to nothing. Peace.