DROUGHT

It's getting worse by the day, says MP Shurie

In Summary

• NDMA warns livestock may begin to die in the next week, MP says they're already dying.

• Even if it rains now, it will take another two to three weeks for pasture to regenerate, says report.

Women from Dertu village, Dadaab subcounty, on their way to a borehole.
GRIM PICTURE: Women from Dertu village, Dadaab subcounty, on their way to a borehole.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

More needs to be done to alleviate the effects of the drought, which is getting worse, Balambala MP Omar Shurie has said. 

He urged those charged with the responsibility to upscale their operations, especially in far-flung areas, which are some of the worst hit.  

Shurie spoke in Ohio village, Saka ward, on Wednesday when he launched water trucking funded by CDF.

He said stakeholders should come together and pool their resources to avoid duplication of relief efforts and the possibility of some areas being left out.

“Coordination in mitigating this drought is important if we are to succeed. All of us must come together and put our resources together to ensure that all our people get a share at this hard time,” Shurie said.

The legislator said the situation grows worse every day, with the lack of water driving residents to other areas with their livestock.

He said goats and sheep have started dying of hunger.

Badly hit villages in Balambala include Balambala Junction, Ohio, Abdigab, Ashadin, Omar Muhumed, Hifow, Bula Rig, Sheptaad and Dujis.

The March-April long rains have failed and rising temperatures have depleted the little pastures and water available.

The latest report by the National Drought Management Authority paints a bleak future for pastoralists, whose economic mainstay is livestock.

According to the report on Tuesday, livestock could start dying in the next week if it does not rain.

The report states that even if it rains now, it will take another two to three weeks for pasture to regenerate.

Speaking to the press in his office in Garissa, area NDMA coordinator Abdinoor Dubow said among the measures they have taken include distribution of hay and pellets to sustain the livestock, which are growing weaker by the day.

“The body condition of the animals across the county is getting worse by the day. They are weak and cannot walk for long distances in search of water and pasture,” he said.

Abdinoor said his department, in conjunction with the county government, the Northern Water Board and other NGOs, has upscaled water trucking to reach more affected settlements, especially in far-flung places.

He said they have strengthened county and subcounty drought coordination committees, which give regular updates from the ground.

The updates inform the measures taken to alleviate the effects of the drought. 

Last week, the NDMA issued a report indicated that the drought, which is at alert stage, had badly affected northern counties, including Garissa, Marsabit, Wajir and Mandera.

Others are Turkana Nyeri (Kieni area), West Pokot, Isiolo, Kitui, Samburu, Tana River, Kilifi and Laikipia.

Edited by Josephine Mayuya