The United Nations through Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has donated 12,000 bags of range cubes to the Kajiado County Government to help in mitigating drought effects among livestock keepers.
The 12,000 bags will be equally distributed to the five sub counties within Kajiado where livestock keepers are currently experiencing huge losses due to the ongoing drought.
The situation has been dire and Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku has in recent days called for humanitarian assistance from the National Government and well-wishers across the globe.
“FAO has responded to our emergency call and they have brought the much-needed support. This is a comprehensive package to cushion the livestock which is the livelihood of our economy and the people of Kajiado,” said the governor while flagging off the donation at his office in the county headquarters.
In addition to the range cubes, 2,400 families will also receive a cash transfer of Sh10, 000 each which will be given out in two phases by FAO.
Ole Lenku revealed that his administration was in talks with FAO so that the organization can train the livestock farmers on how to make their own feeds.
“With the negative impacts of climate change, we can’t fully depend on rain fed agriculture hence the need to inform our people on best agricultural practices to avert the losses being witnessed now,” remarked Lenku.
He added that more partners are expected to honour their pledges in due course.
Carlva Mucavi, FAO representative said their mandate is to defeat hunger and malnutrition in the world adding: “Due to climate change, food security and nutrition is under threat and drought is really worsening the vulnerability of the communities in Kenya and in Kajiado in particular,” noted Ms Mucavi.
She further said the situation might worsen following reports by the meteorological department however assuring that they are ready to respond to drought emergencies.
Mucavi noted that in addition to the livestock feed, FAO will further donate four collapsible ten thousand litre tanks to the affected families to address water scarcity.
The collapsible tanks will allow the relocating herders to take the much-needed commodity with them as they search for pasture.
Mucavi reiterated that there is need to find long term solutions to the drought.
“While we support the immediate need of humanitarian action, we are also looking at how we can build resilience so that we adapt and mitigate climate change. That’s why we are implementing other projects in terms of production, productivity, industrialization and commercialization of animal feeds so that communities can benefit,” said Mucavi.
By Diana Meneto and Sammy Rayiani