The County Government of Kilifi, in conjunction with the Kenya Red Cross Society, yesterday launched a cash transfer program in which 1,000 households from Ganze Sub-county will benefit from a Sh. 6000 monthly stipend to enable families meet their basic needs, including nutrition.
Some 6,000 people are expected to benefit from the stipend, which will run across four months beginning next week.
Kenya Red Cross yesterday said it had set aside the Sh 28.8 Million for the four months to quell the hunger situation in the County.
This emergency Cash Transfer Program is being implemented in the hardest hit famine areas of Ganze and Bamba ward in Ganze sub-country.
Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi who launched the program at the County Headquarters in Kilifi North, said the emergency kitty will go a long way in sustaining the most vulnerable residents of Kilifi.
Kingi who was accompanied by the local County Executive in charge of Public Service and Disaster Management, Christine Pekeshe said the County had put in place adequate measures to mitigate the current hunger situation which has seen more than 250,000 in the county facing starvation.
“Our efforts alone are not going to relieve the burden of hunger that has ravaged our people,” said Kingi.
“This is why we need to be transparent on how we are going to fight this crisis. We need to bring all the people on board including the national government and see that we have a central collection point to collect our food and distribute to our people,” said Kingi.
The Kenya Red Cross said the move to divert from the usual food donation to money transfers had been bought about by the need to cut logistical expenses and grow local economies in hunger stricken areas.
“A lot of money that is supposed to help fight hunger is usually wasted on logistics and the process of looking for service providers ad tendering process is usual long and tiring. But this move will see that we cut away these cost and see upto 98 percent of the money aimed to be given to the people is transferred to the most vulnerable,” Regional Coordinator of the Kenya Red Cross, Hassan Musa said.
“It is cheap and quicker and it will also help the local business in the area to grow rather than killing them by buying food elsewhere,” said Musa.
The objective of this program is to address the acute needs of very poor households and improve their dietary needs as well.
The 1,000 households were identified by local and village administrators who focused on the vulnerable households based on the criteria set forth by the Kenya Red Cross and the National Drought Management Authority.
The money shall be paid to the beneficiaries through M-PESA.
This is the second cash transfer program the Kilifi County Government is undertaking.
Earlier this September, the County Government introduced a cash transfer program in which about 2000 elderly persons above sixty five years of age in Kilifi County are paid Shs. 2000 each month for life