- Some of the interventions that he is calling on the government to give priority is construction of mega dams that will minimise movement of livestock during drought.
- The MP said with mega dams in place across all the ASAl counties, then it will be easier for pastoralists to retain the animals within their counties.
Lagdera MP Abdikadir Hussein now wants the government to come up with long term solutions to the perennial drought in Northern Kenya.
Hussein said because of climate change which has caused livelihood disruption, the region will continue to experience perennial drought thus the need to come up with ways of reducing the impact on both human and animals.
Speaking in Modogashe town on Tuesday, the MP whose constituency is one of the most affected by the drought said the situation requires affirmative programmes from the state in order to restore livelihoods of affected families.
“Serious planning that will bring together the government and all the other development partners needs to take place, time has come for us as a country to think outside the box. I represent a constituency where drought is no longer news. It has always been there.”
He added, “The situation that we find ourselves in is one that requires a lot of intervention since majority of our people are food insecure. pastoralism is becoming unsustainable day by day.”
Some of the interventions that he is calling on the government to give priority is construction of mega dams that will minimise movement of livestock during drought.
The MP said with mega dams in place across all the ASAl counties, then it will be easier for pastoralists to retain the animals within their counties since there will be sufficient water which has always been the major problem.
“Once we have this precious commodity called water we can deal with animal feeds. As we speak, our people are forced to walk for very long distances to get water for their animals. This should not happening in this day and age,” he said.
“We acknowledge the efforts that both the National and County governments as well as other partners are doing in addressing the drought issue, but truth be told this are just short term solutions,” he said.
He added, “If these interventions are not done then pastoralism as our way of life like we have known it for decades and which is being practiced by over 90 per cent of the population, will no longer be tenable,” he said.
The MP also called on the government and other stakeholders to utilise Tana river and Dawa river in Mandera to grow fodder and other animal feeds. This he noted will also diversify the economic activities of the pastoral communities because it will not only be a source of income but also sustain their livestock.
He said movement of livestock from one county to another during drought was not only wakening the animals but also a source of conflict.
Currently, pastoralist from counties as far as Mandera, Wajir, Isiolo and Marsabit are concentrated in Garissa and Tana river something that has led to some leaders fearing that it will result in inter-community and intra-community conflicts due to competition for the scarce resources.
The NDMA in its January 2023 bulletin paints a worrying picture in 23 counties that have been classified as either in the alarm or alert phase of the drought.
The report further states that all surface water sources have dried up, increasing pressure on the permanent sources such as boreholes.
The overall food security situation in the county remains critical.
More than 400,000 people in the county are facing acute food shortage with the number projected to rise to above 420,000 by March.
Counties on the alarm phase include Kilifi, Mandera Marsabit Samburu,Turkana, Wajir, Isiolo, Kitui, Kajiado, while 13 counties Garissa, Lamu, Narok, Tana River, Makueni, Tharaka Nithi, Baringo, Laikipia, Meru, Taita Taveta, West Pokot, Nyeri and Kwale are in the alert drought phase.
-Edited by SKanyara