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Kenyans donate over £100,000 to drought victims by text

FEELING THE government hasn’t done enough to aid the victims of the worst drought in the region in 60 years; ordinary Kenyans have taken to mobile phone banking and have so far donated nearly £122,000.

The BBC says the money was raised in the first 12 hours of an appeal launched by leading businesses, involving mobile phone company Safaricom, Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper and Kenya Commercial Bank. The aim is to raise £3.3 million.

The companies have urged the public to do a text transfer of at least 10 US cents into a special bank account.

"No amount is too small to give," Safaricom head Bob Collymore said.

With a population of 40 million, about half of it, are mobile-phone users.

The money which will be administered by the Kenya Red Cross Society, is said to go to help those who are worst affected by the drought.

On Wednesday, Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the government had spent around £67 million on food and other aid to reduce starvation.

The drought is affecting more than 10 million people in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.

Somalia is hardest hit, with the UN declaring a famine in its Lower Shabelle and Bakool regions.

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