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Over 120,000 people need relief food

Over 120,000 people in Isiolo County need food due to the looming drought for the next four months when the health condition of the animals they depend on is expected to improve.

Most of the area population depends on animal products and milk for their livelihood which is threatened following failure of rain last October – December season in most parts of the County.

Speaking to KNA, the County Coordinator for National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) Mr Lordman Lekalkuli said that 60 per cent of the vast County had not received rain forcing the local residents to cross over to neighbouring regions in search of water and pastures.

Lekalkuli said that Sericho, Charri, Cherab and Oldonyiro Wards did not receive rain and the elderly and children who were left behind in the villages need food and other supplements support.

The coordinator said that the Government and development partners had earlier on drilled 20 boreholes and improved 15 dams in effort to alleviate the looming drought late last year.

He added that water trucking to over 15,000 people in Modogashe, Badana, and Korbesa areas of Garbatulla Sub- County had been going on for the last 10 months and more support on water supply should go on uninterrupted.

The coordinator added that 26 km of water piping from Merti to Biliq had reduced the burden of women trekking long distances to get the commodity.

Lekalkuli added that the government has also reduced the burden from poor parents by providing food for fees for 500 students in local secondary schools.

He further said the government and development partners have placed over 21,000 families on cash transfer through the Ministry Public Service, Gender, Social Protection and Special Programmes in cushioning them from the effects of drought.

Lekalkuli said that the Northern Water Service Board would also repair and put up a new generator at Dadacha Laffe borehole which was destroyed by bandits a week ago.

He appealed to the development partners to mobilise resources and put them in one kitty and together identify the needy wananchi so that the deserving cases benefit from their support first.

The coordinator urged chiefs to provide an updated data of the needy people in their areas without bias so that the assistance could be equitably distributed.

Lekalkuli said that a borehole at Kakili primary school which had collapsed two weeks ago would be repaired and wananchi would soon start using it.

On destocking, Lekalkuli said that livestock owners are responding slowly to the programme since they have not fully given up on rain since some areas have started receiving showers.

He challenged livestock farmers to destock their animals before commencement of drought so as to avoid losing their livelihood in dry spell as the livestock die but instead plan to restock when there is adequate water and pasture after rain.

By Abduba Mamo

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