NAIROBI, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Dozens of Chinese firms operating in Kenya on Sunday donated 30 tonnes of food, oil and water to victims of drought in Makueni County located in lower eastern part of the country.
Speaking at the donation ceremony, Chairman of Kenya Chinese Chamber of Commerce Zhuo Wu said Chinese enterprises are keen to be part of the solution to drought ravaging different parts of the east African Nation.
"We are ready to assist Kenyans affected by drought and have donated maize and wheat flour, cooking fat and water to the most vulnerable. This is part of our responsibility to strengthen bonds of friendship," Zhuo remarked.
Zhuo said Chinese firms will extend assistance to other parts of Kenya reeling from severe drought.
An estimated 2.7 million Kenyans in 23 counties are affected by the current drought that escalated early this year.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on February 10 declared the current drought a national disaster and made a fresh appeal to the international community to increase food aid.
The Chinese community in Kenya has been in the front line to assist Kenyans in overcoming the ravages of drought.
Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya Yao Ming said at the donation ceremony that emergency support to Kenya's drought victims dovetails with Beijing's policy of cementing sincere friendship with bilateral partners.
"The food donation is noble gesture by the Chinese community in Kenya. We are ready to assist the country in building a better future," Yao remarked.
Local administrators present at the ceremony hailed Chinese enterprises for providing essential support to drought victims.
Richard Katemi Makenga, Member of Parliament for Kaiti Constituency in Makueni County, said that vulnerable members of society like children and the elderly will benefit from food donated by Chinese firms.
Makenga noted that suppressed rains in the last two seasons worsened food and water insecurity in the larger Makueni County.
"Timely support from Chinese businesses will provide relief to the most vulnerable drought victims such as the elderly," he added.