UK calls on Kenya to Open Border with Somalia to respond to drought, boost trade
The UK government has urged the Kenyan Government to open its land border with Kenya to ease response to drought mitigation.
The UK ambassador to Kenya Jane Marriot was in Mandera on a mission to assess the impact of drought situation said the UK will continue to give financial support including through the hunger safety food programme and hunger safety net programme.
She said the UK has given 1.5 million pounds in form of aid to the government. The ambassador said the money has gone into several programmes that are geared towards fighting drought and famine.
The UK ambassador to Kenya Jane Marriot has said that her government will remain supportive of the government’s move to re-open the border.
Speaking in Mandera Elwak during her second official visit, the ambassador said that the re-opening of the border will lead to an increase in trade as well as humanitarian supplies to Somalia.
The government closed the Kenya Somalia border in 2013 following constant attacks from al-Shabaab militants.
On his part, Mandera governor Mohamed Khalif appreciated the UK government’s effort to help in addressing the drought issue.
The Governor further called on the NGOs in Mandera to coordinate both with his administration and the national government so as to have a meaningful impact on the current situation.
The governor commended the security apparatus for working day and night to enhance security in the county saying the county’s only challenge has remained external emanating from Al Shabab attacks.
Dr Stephen Jackson, the United Nations resident coordinator in Kenya said that they have been helping with drought intervention programmes for more than a year noting that together with other international partners they have put together more than $ 168 million into food, cash distribution, water, health and livelihoods.
Mandera County commissioner added that the al-Shabaab are trying to be a disruptive presence but the people of Mandera do not want al-Shabaab, they want to get on with their lives as normal supported by the men and women of the security forces.
On Monday, the government led by president William Ruto flagged off a consignment of mixed food destined to ten most affected counties.
More than 20 counties are facing severe drought situations currently being experienced in the county.