East African Community, Arid and Semi-Arid Lands and Regional Development Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano appeared before Senate Committee on National Cohesion, Equal Opportunity and Regional Integration, Chaired by Marsabit County Senator Mohamed Chute to deliberate on the current drought and food shortages in the country and strategies for disaster risk management and also status of One Stop Border Post Project for East Africa Community Integration.
On Drought,CS Miano told the committee that the March-April-May 2023 long rains season continue to perform well with majority of the ASAL Counties receiving good amounts of rainfall.
She said the arid Counties of Mandera, Wajir, Isiolo, Tana River, Garisa, Turkana, Marsabit and Samburu received considerable amounts of rainfall being the regions that had been worst affected by drought.
Further, the semi-arid Counties of Tharaka Nithi, Embu, Kajiado,Meru, Makueni, Kitui, Lakipia, Narok, Baringo, Nyeri, West pokot, Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu have received average rainfall amounts of rainfall.
“Based on the range of indicators monitored, three counties (3), Wajir, Taita Taveta and Lamu remain in Alert drought phase while Seven Counties namely Embu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, West Pokot, Baringo, Garissa and Narok are in Normal drought phase while Thirteen Counties are in the recovery drought phase”,she stated.
On the issue of food security, Cabinet Secretary informed the Committee that as a result of little rain the number of people in need of assistance remains at 4.4 Million .
“This is because most farmers have not started harvesting with pasture regeneration still on course,”she said.
She informed the Committee that the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) plans to conduct an assessment to establish the number of people that may require immediate food assistance .
She added that the exercise with be done with the help of National and County level stakeholders to prioritize the sectoral drought response plans and implementation strategies.
Cabinet Secretary also explained to Senator Chute led Committee that in East Africa One Stop Border Post Projects (OSBPS) are being implemented under the East Africa Trade and Transport Facilitation project (EATTFP) framework.
The main objective is to enhance trade facilitation, trough the efficient movement of goods and persons within the East African Community (EAC) region.
Further, they are intended trade transaction by combining the activities of both Counties’ border control agencies at a single location.
OSBPS are part of the Coordinated Border Management system designed to achieve greater trade facilitation efficiency by combining border clearance activities in a single location so as to benefit from economies of scale, reduce transit delay, simplify clearance procedures, foster data and intelligence sharing and deepen regional integration and solidarity.
Legislators also hosted a delegation of Members of the Thematic Committee on Peace and Security from the Republic of Zimbabwe who are on a benchmarking Tour.
Senators in attendance were Sen. Mwenda Gataya, Sen. Gloria Orwoba, Sen. Betty Batuli, Sen. Joseph Kamau and Sen. Beth Kalunda.