Ruto taps private sector gurus in newly set up drought response committee

President William Ruto has on Monday established the National Steering Committee on Drought Response.

The committee chaired by Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa will mainly be tasked as a private sector-led National Drought Mitigation Appeal Fund under the auspices of the Kenya Red Cross and will work to raise funds to supplement the government’s drought response program and lessen the effects of the drought in the country.

In a gazette notice, President William Ruto stated that the lack of rain over the previous four years had caused a significant increase in the number of food-vulnerable households in Kenya, which had by mid-November spread to 45 wards in 9 non-ASAL counties as well as 20 counties in the arid and semi-arid land (ASAL)

The committee also has notable figures in the private industry including CEOs James Mwangi (Equity Bank), Nasim Devji (Diamond Trust Bank),
Shamaz Savani, (African Banking Corporation Bank), Paul Rushdie Russo (Kenya Commercial Bank) Rebecca Mbithi (Family Bank), Jane Karuku (EABL), Joshua Chepkwony (Jamii Telecommunication Limited), Crispin Acholla (BAT) and Edwins Mukabanah (Kenya Bus Services Management).

Other are Asha Mohammed, Secretary-General, The Kenya Red Cross, Patricia Mugambi Ndegwa, Krishma Jitesh Chavda and Hared Hassan.

The secretary to the committee will be Murimi Murage.

“It has become necessary to institutionalize the framework for mobilization of additional resources to address the worsening drought impacts; with key target interventions being Food, Water, Livestock, Health, Wildlife, Energy, Education, Security, Forestry, Agriculture and Irrigation,” read the gazette notice.

The committee has also been tasked with supporting measures that will protect the impacted populations from the effects of the ongoing drought through relief efforts, such as the cash transfer program.

The Committee will be in place for a year and submit its report to Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

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