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Gov’t allocates Sh17 million to tackle drought

The national government through the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) has allocated over Sh17 million for water trucking and animal feeds in an effort to deal with the threatening drought situation in Isiolo County.

NDMA County Coordinator Lordman Lekalkuli said that the government has allocated Sh15.9 million to purchase animal feeds and Sh2 million for water trucking to Modogashe and Merti areas of the County which are adversely affected by the drought.

Lekalkuli said that the government has also provided fuel subsidies for boreholes in all the grazing areas to ensure there is water for livestock which are already weak owing to the ravaging drought situation in the region.

The coordinator made the remarks Tuesday during a special County Steering Group (CSG) meeting at a Isiolo hotel chaired by County Executive member for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Dr. Lawrence Mwongera.

He said that the drought had forced residents of Modogashe town in Garbatulla Sub-County to travel for 60 kilometres to get water from a borehole in Habasweni Sub County of Wajir County, since the water sources in the area had dried up.

Lekalkuli added that NDMA would also repair water pumps and buy more spare parts for a number of boreholes that had broken down, since the user communities could not afford to renovate them since the prolonged drought had impoverished them.

The coordinator also revealed that over 60,000 households in the county are currently being targeted for inclusion in the next phase of cash transfer funds, adding that 75 per cent of residents are threatened by the severe drought effects.

On his part, Dr. Mwongera said that as a result of the drought, some incidences of insecurity were being reported in the region as conflict between the herders and wildlife over water and fodder seem to escalate, with wild animals becoming a threat to human life by intruding settlements.

Mwongera said that over 10 boreholes would be rehabilitated by various development actors and the County Government at a cost of Sh12 million to complement the national government’s commitment to address drought in the area.

The county executive further urged development partners to channel their activities through CSG instead of rushing to areas of their choice, since the move would lead to conflict of interests and duplication of activities with one area getting more projects than others.

He said that the County Government would allocate more funding to Water, Livestock and Health since drought affected the livelihood of the local residents making women and children more vulnerable.

Isiolo is among the 10 Counties in the country currently faced with severe drought after the long and short rain seasons failed in the region, pushing the livestock and livestock products which are main economic activity for the local people to dwindle by 25 per cent.

By Abduba Mamo

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