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Alarm in Kajiado as drought nears emergency phase

Kajiado county is in an alarming worsening drought phase and will be entering into the emergency phase in the next few weeks.

According to the Short Rains Assessment(SRA) findings conducted by the National Drought Management Authority in the county, the region is in a crisis phase with more people requiring humanitarian assistance.

“The most affected sub county is Kajiado Central where the predominant source of livelihood is pastoralism. The sub county has witnessed massive loss of livestock, depleted pasture which has been worsened by the African army worm invasion and poor performance of the 2021 long and short rains leading to high malnutrition levels,” said Hussein Mohammed, the County Drought Coordinator.

Mohammed notes that Kajiado East Sub county is the second worst hit  by drought and the situation was made worse by the invasion of the African armyworm which invaded rangelands during the early stages of pasture.

Kajiado South and West Sub counties have also been greatly affected while Kajiado North was least affected as it is an urban area where people have alternative forms of livelihood.

The report further indicates that human wildlife conflicts occasioned by competition for the scarce water and forage especially in Kajiado South and Central Sub counties have risen and further worsened the situation due to destruction of infrastructure especially water sources by the wild animals.

“Due to the failure of the short rains, crop failure has been witnessed in agro pastoral and mixed farming. Only 16.4% of normal maize yield is expected,” notes Mohammed

NDMA has put several interventions in place to save the situation including provision of fuel subsidy to 10 boreholes and water trucking to schools within the county.

The Authority has also provided 5,600 bags of livestock pellets to the livestock farmers and is currently in process of acquiring 8,400 more bags.

Apart from the short term measures, NDMA is also putting in place long term drought mitigation measures.

“We are currently training the community in Mashuuru, Kajiado East Sub county on drought mitigation measures so that they can build drought resilience,” says Mohammed.

Currently, the drought situation in 22 of the 23 ASAL counties remains critical due to the late onset and poor performance of the much anticipated October-December 2022 short rains coupled with four previous consecutive failed rainfall seasons.

By Diana Meneto and Sammy Rayiani

 

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