Residents of three Sub-counties in Garissa are appealing for relief assistance from both the National and County Governments as well as humanitarian organizations to enable them survive the ongoing ravaging drought in the region.
According to the residents, emergency food supply is needed especially now that school going children are at home for holiday thus increasing the demand for additional famine relief food supplies.
During a security meeting organised by Mercy Cops in conjunction with the local Government Administration and held in Masalani, the resident lamented that the area received little rain in December to February that could not sustain pasture nor adequate water.
The residents expressed their worries that people moving with their livestock to other counties, particularly Tana River County, may spark animosity as they struggle for water and pasture.
Speaking to KNA in Masalani, Ijara Sub- County Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Mr. Willy Cheboi said the government is in the process of transporting relief supply to affected areas, adding that other well-wishers and humanitarian organizations were also doing their best to minimize the suffering of the residents.
The strategy meeting was also attended by the Mercy Cops, Coordinator Mr. Ahmed Omar, SUPKEM representatives, Mr Abass Mohamed, Sub- County security team that include Chiefs and their Assistants, several departmental Heads among other religious and community leaders.
Mr Cheboi instructed the multi-agency team working in the area to avert humanitarian and security crisis by reporting to their duty station so that they help monitor the situation through first hand contacts.
“Firsthand information is crucial for our intervention on this situation. We also need to follow closely the happening inside Boni forest which is suspected to be the hideout for the Al-Shabaab militia, so we must be at the ground with our people,” stressed Cheboi.
The DCC acknowledged that the situation is dire, noting that the grass has dried up forcing livestock keepers to trek for long distance in such of water along River Tana and water pans in Hulugho and Bothai Sub-counties.
He attributed the current situation to the global climate change, saying since time immemorial, the residents have enjoyed cooler weather as compared to other parts of North Eastern Region.
The resident, particularly women pleaded with their Lamu and Tana River neighbours to welcome them alongside their livestock and should there be any misunderstanding, it should be resolved through peace committees, elders and wazee wa mitaa to evade any severe conflict.
Mrs. Maryan Yahya, a resident urged livestock owners to enter other Sub counties and locations with peace and decorum to avoid conflict between them and their farmer colleagues.
“We have witnessed ugly incidences that could have been easily evaded most of these conflict situations happen at water point along River Tana, one being 3km away from Ijara Sub County Headquarters.
The Director of Livestock Marketing Council, Mr Dubai Ali Amey concurred with the leaders and the residents, saying the situation needs urgent intervention.
Amey at the same time urged the residents to get Covid-19 vaccination which he said was readily available, to avoid contracting the deadly disease.
He encouraged youth in Ijara Hulugho and Bothai to seek for various vocational training that would enable them take up opportunities provided by the LAPSET project that passes through that area.
By Mohammed Dahir