Agriculture in Africa is underfunded, although several governments in the African Union Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security committed to spending 10 percent of their national budget on agricultural development. Only 13 countries have met that target.
In Kenya the drought stretches across the coastal, north, northeastern and southern lowlands. Even the western region, which has not traditionally experienced severe droughts, is affected. Experts warn that the situation may persist for the next six months.
"The drought is of great concern to us as Muslims," said Sheikh Hassan Ole Naado, the deputy secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims. "We are praying and we are mobilizing."
Kenya’s government has been delivering relief food to nearly 1.6 million in arid and semi-arid areas. Officials say the number will surpass 2 million by the end of February.
Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the resumption of school feeding programs so that children can stay in school. The schools are also required to accept food as school fees.
In the north and northeastern regions, the Kenya Red Cross has been buying livestock from farmers, slaughtering the animals and distributing the meat to the community.
Meanwhile, Matolo and other many faith leaders in East Africa continue to stress better farming methods, the use of quality seeds and increased water harvesting.
"When I see the people starving, I feel desperate. I also feel disappointed that many of the promises by government officials to deliver water have not been honored," said Matolo.
"If these people can get water for irrigation, the area will become the country’s bread basket. They are doing it in Israel, which is a desert. Here, the soils are very fertile and the people are not lazy."