- Over 80 per cent of the population depends on livestock for their livelihoods and food security.
- The recent El nino rains that come after a long period of drought badly affected the sector living rendering locals destitute.
A Wajir-based NGO has called on both state and non-state actors to enhance support for drought and El Nino victims in the area noting that many of them are yet to recover from the effects
Mohamed Bulle, the Wajir South Development Association [WASDA] Program Director, said that the severe drought which saw the region go without rain for five consecutive seasons preceded the El Nino rains that made life worse for pastoralists.
He was speaking in Eldas town on Tuesday where he had gone to check on the progress of the programme.
The area is one of those that were badly affected by both drought and the El Nino rains.
Over 80 per cent of the population depends on livestock for their livelihoods and food security.
“98 percent of our people are pastoralists. It is the economic mainstay of the region. Most of them lost their livestock in the process, this has badly affected most families who are struggling to even put a meal on the table,” he said.
“It has also been difficult for most of them to restock and get their lives back to normalcy because they are poor and don’t have the money."
“People still need assistance. As we speak the recovery is very slow because all this requires money. It is for this reason that we call upon all the humanitarian actors to support communities so that they move into the path of recovery."
Bulle disclosed that the cash transfer project that is funded by USAID through WASDA and which is implemented in Wajir South, Wajir West, Wajir North, and Eldas Sub-counties has seen a total of 5,140 beneficiaries receive Sh8,190 each in the last five months.
In Eldas town alone, 300 recipients have benefited from the program.
He revealed that they are not restricting the beneficiaries to use the funds to restock but said priority should be for other needs like buying food for the family as well as for healthcare purposes.
Ibrahim Birik and Zeinab Mohamed who are among the project beneficiaries guided the farm to the farm which they jointly own and which was established with the money received from WASDA.
Birik said with these funds, they were able to purchase goats and restart their livestock farming after losing their animals to the drought.
Lima Mohamed, who runs a vegetable store, expressed her gratitude to USAID and WASDA for the cash program which she said has transformed her life.
“I want to sincerely thank USAID and WASDA for coming up with the very successful programme. The money has been of great help to us especially coming at a time when were still reeling from the effects of drought and the El Nino rains,” she said.
Mohamed Muhumed, who is living with disability narrated how he has for years been struggling to walk but was able to purchase crutches with the funds which he said has gone a long way in easing his mobility.
“We can only thank WASDA for coming to our aid in our hour of need. Having lost our animals which was our only source of income, life was becoming tough with each growing day,” Mohamed said.
These initiatives have transformed the lives of many in this town. The economic situation has improved, and businesses are thriving. There is an improved circulation of money,” said Ibrahim Salat an elder.