Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned people involved in food distribution not to “enrich themselves”, a statement from the presidency said.

He made the comments as the government declared that the drought affecting 23 of the country’s 47 counties was a national disaster.

I will not tolerate anybody who would try to take advantage of this situation to defraud public funds.

Let all investigative agencies including the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission get involved in the activities being undertaken during this period. I don’t want the government to be accused of taking advantage of this situation.”

Uhuru Kenyatta

His warning came as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said more than 11 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia were facing severe hunger and were in urgent need of humanitarian assistance because of the drought.

It said the situation was particularly severe in Somalia where nearly 40{d59e984f9fbc5c09e4ab0305e27bfa5819922b7230cd324f89a660f78358ca33} of the population now needed some form of help.

In Ethiopia, the worst drought in half a century was further compounded by an influx of people fleeing Somalia, the Red Cross said.

Water sources in Kenya had dried up, leading to large-scale loss of livestock, it added.

Mr Kenyatta said the drought was also affecting wild animals.