The Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes, Prof. Margaret Kobia, has called for fast tracking of Guidelines for the operationalisation of the National Drought Emergency Fund (NDEF).

CS Kobia spoke during a briefing by National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) Chief Executive Officer Lt Col (Rtd) Hared Hassan on the progress of operationalisation of the Fund as well as the drought and food security situation in the country. Also present were Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. Abdul Bahari, Principal Secretary for Development of Arid Semi-Arid Lands Mr Micah Powon and NDMA Directors.

During the meeting, the NDMA CEO apprised the CS on the salient features of the NDEF Guidelines and the next steps towards operationalisation of the Fund including; public participation and incorporation of comments; ratification by the Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes and her National Treasury counterpart; and dissemination of the final Guidelines for use.

The CS reiterated that the Government is committed to managing drought risks as evidenced by establishment of the dedicated Fund.

“This Fund has been placed under the relevant institution (NDMA) to enable it to achieve its mandate. We now need to fast track the pending actions to make it fully operational,” she said.

CS Kobia directed the PS and CEO to implement the roadmap to ensure access to and utilisation of KSh 300 million earmarked for the Fund under the supplementary budget this fiscal year. The NDMA will report further progress on 30th March 2021.

 NDEF is established under the Public Finance Management Act, 2012, with approval of the Cabinet Secretary for The National Treasury and Parliament and operationalised by the Public Finance Management (National Drought Emergency Fund) Regulations, 2021. The Fund will complement the activities of the NDMA and mobilise resources towards drought preparedness, response and recovery.


Salient features of NDEF Guidelines

The main features of the draft NDEF Guidelines include;

  1. Source of funds – NDEF is a common basket Fund that will receive annual appropriations by Parliament while the NDMA Board will mobilise resources through engagement with development partners, private sector, communities as well as global disaster risk and climate change funds or entities that finance drought risk management programmes.
  2. Oversight – the NDMA Board will provide oversight on the administration and management of the Fund.
  • Management of the Fund - to ensure there is no duplication of functions between the Fund and NDMA, the NDEF Regulations provide for the designation of the NDMA CEO as Fund Administrator and the NDMA staff as the Fund Secretariat.
  1. Coordination mechanisms – includes a National Steering Committee, Intergovernmental Technical Committee, County Drought Committees and Development Partners engagement forums as determined by the CS from time to time. However, the Guidelines propose the establishment of a Subcounty Committee to facilitate linkages with the other coordination levels.
  2. Resource allocation criteria - will be based on drought cycle recommended activities namely; Resilience and preparedness up to (50 %), Response up to (40 %); Recovery up to (5 %) and administration.

 Drought status

NDMA reported that the number of people in need of relief assistance in 23 ASAL counties has increased to 3.1 million from 2.8 million in December 2021. This is attributed to poor performance of the 2021 short rains in most of the 23 ASAL counties. The food security situation between February and June 2022 is expected to worsen, with the number in need of relief assistance projected to rise to 3.5 million.

Currently, 6 counties are classified in drought Alarm phase (phase 3 of 4) and a further 13 in Alert phase (phase 2 of 4). Those in Alarm phase are: Marsabit, Kilifi, Turkana, Wajir, Isiolo and Mandera. Those in Alert are, Baringo, Kwale, Kitui, Garissa, Samburu, Meru North, Nyeri (Kieni), Laikipia, Lamu, Narok, Taita Taveta, Kajiado and West Pokot.

The 19 counties (under Alert and Alarm) are likely to experience normal to below normal March-April-May 2022 rains. This implies that the recovery of livelihoods in the affected counties may not be immediate.

The priorities for the February to May 2022 period include; food and safety nets for 3.5 million people in 23 counties at KSh7.2 billion and non-food interventions at KSh3.1 billion in all 23 counties and 15 counties at high risk.

The CS advised that the drought and food security technical committee (government and development partners) meets to review progress on utilisation of resources and implementation of drought interventions.