Savannah Cement aids Presidential call for drought relief support

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta receives a Ksh. 2 million cheque from SavannahCement Managing Director Mr Ronald Ndegwa towards the Kenya Red Cross’ Drought Relief Efforts.

BY UPESINEWS REPORTER,NAIROBI,21ST  FEB 2017-Local cement manufacturer, Savannah Cement Ltd has extended a Kshs 2million corporate donation in aid of the ongoing drought relief efforts.Following a clarion call recently sounded by President Uhuru Kenyatta for local corporates and individuals to support the Government by upscaling drought mitigation programmes, Savannah Cement, is among the first private sector responders to make a corporate donation for the cause.

Speaking when he presented the firm’s donation to First Lady MargaretKenyatta, at State House Nairobi, Savannah Cement Managing Director, Mr.Ronald Ndegwa said the contribution comprised of funds earlier earmarkedfor the First Lady’s Half Marathon.

The firm, Ndegwa said had earlier budgeted to extend a Kshs 1 milliondonation in support of the First Lady’s Half Marathon (now cancelled) and on hearing the President’s appeal, decided to double the amount in view of the prevailing drought situation.The donation presented to Margaret Kenyatta for onward transfer to theKenya Red Cross Society, Mr. Ndegwa said will complement the Governments efforts in mitigating the effects of drought.

“At Savannah Cement, we have swiftly moved to secure this Kshs 2 milliondonation as part of our humble contribution to the ongoing droughtmitigation efforts,” Ndegwa said, adding, “as an organization, we havetaken the first step to complement ongoing Government efforts and we call on other Corporates and Kenyans of goodwill to selflessly support the ongoing drought relief efforts.”

The Government recently declared the current drought affecting 23 arid and semi-arid counties and pockets of other areas a national disaster with President Uhuru Kenyatta calling on various stakeholders to support the Government by upscaling drought mitigation programmes.

The National Drought Management Authority and the Kenya Red Cross Society estimate that there are more than 2.6 million Kenyans facing starvation and in need of urgent food and related relief.The Kenya Red Cross Society has classified 11 counties in the Alert phase of drought warning. More than 12 other counties are classified to be in Alarm Phase, and the situation is worsening with an expectation that some of these Counties could slide into the Emergency Phase if there are no interventions.

The government had allocated KSh 5.4 billion in the first stage of drought mitigation interventions the period covered November 2016-January 2017. For the second phase, which covers the period February-April, an additional KSh 11.6 billion is required and for Phase Three between April-August another KSh 7.1 billion will be required.

Already, the National Treasury has released the first tranche of Ksh 7.3 billion while the county governments have provided Ksh 2 billion.

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