Buy livestock before they die - pastoralists

A pastoralist from Banane in lagdera constitituency fetches mud water for his animals on September 19,2016.drought has hit the region with pastoralist being forced to move far and wide in search of water and pasture for their livestock.Photo/file
A pastoralist from Banane in lagdera constitituency fetches mud water for his animals on September 19,2016.drought has hit the region with pastoralist being forced to move far and wide in search of water and pasture for their livestock.Photo/file

The government has been asked to urgently buy livestock from pastoralists in drought-stricken regions in Northeastern through the Livestock Off-take Programme.

Speaking to the press in Garissa town yesterday after attending a funds drive, Lagdera MP Mohamed Shidiye said the government last month had promised to start buying animals from the herders through the Kenya Meat Commission, but to date, nothing has happened.

He said hundreds of emaciated animals have already died.

“If something is not done urgently, the few remaining cattle will also die. The government needs to walk the talk and do what it promised.

This will at least reduce the massive losses the pastoralists would have incurred in the event all the animals died,” Shidiye said.

He said hundreds of pastoralists whose animals have died are sinking into poverty because the livestock were their only livelihood.

Shidiye said most residents face starvation.

On Saturday, one person was killed and another seriously injured after a fight for water. “The situation has got out of hand and the government does not seem to be bothered about the suffering of its people,” Shidiye said.