FARMING COMPROMISED

Report recommends efforts to minimise drought impact in Laikipia

Scarcity of pasture and water due to low rains in April and June.

In Summary

• Hot and dry weather conditions have resulted in the decline of vegetation and the drying of some water sources.

• A report released by the National Drought Management Authority says June rains were way below the expected level at that time of the year.

Farmers in Laikipia tag the ears of cattle so that they can be identified if stolen.
TAGGING: Farmers in Laikipia tag the ears of cattle so that they can be identified if stolen.
Image: FILE

@Waithaka06

Laikipia residents are grappling with scarcity of pasture and water with the situation being blamed on less rainfall.

A report has attributed the drought situation to below-normal rains in April and June. Hot and dry weather conditions have resulted in the decline of vegetation and the drying of some water sources.

The report released by the National Drought Management Authority says June rains were way below the expected level at that time of the year.

“The report further indicates that crop production has been compromised as a result. The pasture condition is way below normal and deteriorating, resulting in the migration of most livestock from traditional grazing areas,” county drought coordinator Guyo Golicha said.

The report was released yesterday.

Golicha noted that areas with below-normal precipitation levels are mostly in Laikipia East and Laikipia North. The livestock productivity is lower than expected for the period.

The underperformance of the ongoing rains, coupled with reduced economic activity due to the Covid-19 crisis, is a threat to food security, he noted.

The report has recommended, among other things, the preparation of a response plan for possible drought mitigation in the near future and the implementation of projects geared towards enhancing community resilience and building new livelihoods, especially in consideration of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

“Sensitise farmers on conservation agriculture and the adoption of drought-tolerant/escaping crops as a way to maximising crop yield. Enhance animal disease surveillance along the stock migratory routes as migration cases increase,” the report says.

The report notes the need to advise communities on sanitation, hygiene, and social distancing to minimise the coronavirus pandemic fallout.