• Agriculture executive says they will distribute more than 10,000 bags
• Pasture and water have continued to diminish
The Wajir government is distributing feed to cushion livestock against ravaging drought.
A prolonged dry spell has hit the county, prompting widespread fears of adverse effects on residents and their animals. Pasture and water have continued to diminish in the past three months. Wajir West, Wajir South, Eldas and Tarbaj are the worst-hit.
The county is in the alarm stage of drought. It requires concerted efforts to tackle its devastations. The situation is so dire that both the county leadership and the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) have warned that it could worsen and become disastrous.
On Monday, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries executive Yussuf Abdi said they will provide more than 10,000 bags of feed. He spoke in Wagala, Wajir West. All subcounties are to benefit.
Abdi said the Livestock and Veterinary Services department has partnered with the NDMA, through funding from the European Union, in the distribution drive.
The intervention targets lactating or breeding animals left behind as others were moved in search of water and pasture. Residents have benefitted from other joint initiatives, including water trucking water, relief food distribution, maintenance of boreholes, and animal vaccination and treatment.
"I humbly appeal to the implementation teams and community members to be vigilant on the beneficiary identification to ensure the criteria set are adhered to. As envisioned, the intervention targets the vulnerable community members and we must truly target them," Abdi said.
"As a government, in partnership with stakeholders, we've been supporting livestock vaccinations, pasture/fodder production, investment in market infrastructure and water harvesting for livestock. We have to be there for our people when they need our help like now."
A check on some subcounties revealed a grim picture, with carcasses scattered after every short distance.
Livestock is the economic mainstay of Northeastern residents. In Wajir, the contribution of livestock production (including meat, milk, hides, skins, by-products and trade) to household income averages 60 per cent.
Livestock keeping accounts for more than 70 per cent of the livelihoods and food security in a normal year and employs about 75 per cent of the rural population.
The sector generates an income of about Sh10.5 billion annually. It, however, faces a myriad of challenges, including pests and diseases, recurrent and prolonged droughts and disfranchised markets. Residents want lasting solutions.
(Edited by F'Orieny)