Farmers in Mwingi are losing their livestock due to lack of water and pasture with the drought monitoring unit predicting that the situation will worsen over the coming months.
According to the December 2021 report from National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) at least 1.4 million herd of cattle had been lost by the end of last year with the number of people in need of food aid in the country rising from 2.1million to 2.8 million.
The situation is worse at Monica Mwendwa’s home in Ngomeni Sub-County in Mwingi North constituency as she has lost more than half of her herd due to drought with the remaining ones too weak to move due to hunger.
“For the past two rainy seasons I have gone without any harvests, with famine striking my household severely. I trek long distances looking for pastures and water for my livestock in vain. My remaining cows are now surviving on the occasionally available water,” Monica bemoaned.
Out of the 40 cows that Monica had at the onset of the drought, she has only sixteen left, despite adequate rains pouring in other parts of the country.
“I have really suffered a great loss. I have neither water nor pastures to save the lives of the remaining lot. I have to spend money to buy water and feeds besides school fees for my children despite the fact that I’m not well off. I depend on farming to make a living,” she added.
David Kimanzi, also a farmer from Mwingi North who lost his three cows to the drought called on the government to sink boreholes in the affected areas.
By Yobesh Onwong’a and Diana Syong’ombe