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September 26, 2017

Lenku calls for drought aid as people starve and cattle perish

Three dead cows, among 40 dead cattle, and two surviving calves along the Mashuuru-Sultan Hamud road yesterday
Three dead cows, among 40 dead cattle, and two surviving calves along the Mashuuru-Sultan Hamud road yesterday

The Kajiado county government yesterday sounded the alarm over devastating drought which has now left several livestock dead.

Governor Joseph Lenku said people are starving.

“The situation is life threatening. On Monday, my government started sending fresh water tankers to the slopes of Kyulu Hills for most of our livestock grazing there but that is not enough,” Lenku told the Star on phone.

“About 70 to 80 percent of Kajiado livestock have moved to Kyulu and their numbers are straining the already threatened scanty water sources,” he added.

He said he had on Monday talked with Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri regarding the hunger in Kajiado.

He said Kiunjuri had promised to immediately send relief food to starving families in the region.

“The county alone cannot help the suffering of my people. The remaining livestock that they entirely depend on are dying every day as they walk in search for pasture,” said Lenku.

Mashuuru deputy county commissioner Stephen Nyakundi told the Star he had counted more than 40 cows that had died along the Mashuuru-Sultan Hamud road yesterday morning.

“They are dying every day on this road as they travel to Kyulu national park for grazing. I have never seen such a catastrophe in many years,” said Nyakundi.

Most affected areas include the entire Kajiado West sub county, Kajiado Central and parts of Kajiado East.

A resident of Imaroro, Nackson Letuati, said most livestock owners have moved to Masimba area near Kyulu in the county but that they are experiencing water shortage.

“Our livestock have grass on the slopes of Kyulu Hills but the biggest challenge is water and food for the herders,” said Letuati.

Owing to the on-going drought, most pupils in day schools have followed their parents and livestock to the grazing fields in the eastern part of the region.

In Olkiramatian area of Kajiado West sub county, where irrigation of crops normally take place, most farmers have been left counting loses after Ewuaso Nyiro River dried up months ago.

Ewuaso Nyiro is fed by water from Mau Hills in Narok county and has been a source of livelihood to thousands of farmers in the West of Lake Magadi.

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