Pamoja Tuungane Safaricom
Karen Basiye, M-PESA Foundation Executive Director, (left), handing over food donation to a resident in Balambala, Garissa County under the Pamoja Tuungane initiative.

The Pamoja Tuungane initiative has distributed food to 4,000 households in Balambala and Lagdera areas in Garissa County’s as part of the ongoing drought response efforts.

The initiative, which was launched in April, has distributed food to over 100,000 Kenyans affected by drought in Garissa, Kitui, Kilifi, Marsabit, Laikipia and Isiolo counties.

Since its launch, Pamoja Tuungane programme has received over Kes171 million worth of donations including Kes150 million from Safaricom PLC and M-PESA Foundation. Other donations include Kes6 million from Manu Chandaria Foundation, Kes2.5 million from KCB Foundation and Kes1 million from tech giant Huawei. Individuals across Kenya have also raised over Kes10 million from Bonga Points and cash donations.

“Through the Pamoja Tuungane initiative we have shown the true power of collaboration and what we can achieve when we come together. As we close this second and final phase, we urge Kenyans to contribute to the recently launched Wakenya Tulindane campaign so that we continue supporting those affected by drought,” said Karen Basiye, Executive Director, M-PESA Foundation.

In the last two weeks another 4,000 households in Kilifi received food donations while 400 families from Kitui and Laikipia counties also received food hampers.

Read also: As famine bites, Kenya starts importing duty-free maize, rice

In October, over 2,000 households in Isiolo County received food aid worth Kes12 million and during the launch of the initiative over 20,000 households in Marsabit County benefitted from the donations.

“The government encourages partnerships that will uplift the lives of Kenyans and the Pamoja Tuungane campaign is a good example of what happens when we work together. We will do our part in ensuring that we reach Kenyans afflicted by drought in ASALs so that we save lives and livelihoods,” said Rebecca Miano, Cabinet Secretary, East African Community, Arid and Semi-Arid Lands, and Regional Development.

Pamoja Tuungane is a cross-sectional private sector led initiative aimed at rallying Kenyans to support those suffering from the effects of the prolonged drought in the country

Earlier this week UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, announced that it had partnered with Safaricom to launch the #BongaForLife campaign to support drought-affected families in the Horn of Africa. The campaign will run throughout December and into the new year and will enable Safaricom customers donate their loyalty points by dialing *126#, selecting Lipa na Bonga Points and using Paybill number 329378 and account name Bonga to donate their Bonga points.

Recently, Safaricom’s CEO Peter Ndegwa was appointed to lead the National Drought Response Committee established by President William Ruto. The Drought Response Fund has so far collected over Kes592 million under the “Wakenya Tulindane” campaign.

The committee is tasked with supporting government interventions to alleviate the effects of the ongoing drought. The taskforce is also mandated to work with the National Drought Management Authority and county governments to disburse cash transfers and offer relief services to at least 23 counties, which are hardest hit by the drought.

Kenyans can make their donations to the fund via M-PESA PayBill 880990 or via the National Drought Mitigation Appeal Fund under KCB Bank, Riverside branch, account number 1305486137.

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