About 183,000 people in Laikipia County are facing starvation due to the current prolonged drought in the region, National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) County Coordinator Golicha Guyo has said.
Guyo said Laikipia has already slide into the alarm drought stage alongside Tharaka Nithi and Tana River raising the number of counties at alarm stage to ten.
The assessment of the affected persons was done last month. Other counties at alarm stage are Isiolo, Mandera, Garissa, Turkana, Wajir, Samburu, and Marsabit.
The county coordinator noted that Laikipia North and East sub counties are the hardest hit adding due to the drought at least 7000 herders from Laikipia, Meru and Isiolo have moved to Mount Kenya forest in search of water and pasture for their livestock.
He, however said the government jointly with the Kenya Red Cross Society were addressing the crisis through distribution of relief food, and offering cash stipends as well as undertaking offtake programmes.
Between July and this month Kenya Red Cross has assisted 1500 households in Laikipia North with maize, beans, rice, cooking oil, green grams, and salt.
The current drought has been attributed to failed rain seasons for long with the number of those in dire need of relief aid being projected to increase to 4.35 million by October 2022 countrywide.
To ease the drought situation in Arid and Semi-Arid areas (ASALs), NDMA said the government in partnership with United Nations (UN) and other non-state actors, would scale up interventions in targeted critical areas.
By Muturi Mwangi