The National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) Tana River County has confirmed that 90,023 people in the area are hunger stricken due to failure of both short rains and long rains for two successive years and urgent interventions are needed to save life.
Speaking to the press at his office in Hola on Thursday, the NDMA Tana River County Coordinator, Abdi Musa said many water sources have dried up contributing to long trekking of animals in search of pasture.
Musa said his team carried out long rains food security assessment in July this year which indicated that the area is experiencing severe vegetation deficit and drying of all water pans, adding that “the county is in alarm phase with severe food and water shortage.”
On nutrition level, the coordinator said the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate is 16 per cent which is at crisis level as far as children are concerned.
On intervention, the coordinator said, NDMA got a donation of Sh.18.8 million from the European Union for livestock feeds, water trucking and health promotion.
He said already NDMA Tana River County has purchased 6000 bags of livestock feeds of 50kgs each that will be distributed to livestock farmers with lactating and weak animals in Galole and Tana North Sub Counties.
Musa said water trucking will target areas such as Lakole, Hosingo, Titila among others in Tana North Sub County where the situation is critical. Other areas targeted for water trucking are Gururi, Goticha, Wayu duka and Haroresa in Galole Sub County.
He further said the department of public health will conduct hygiene promotions and issue 4000 sachets of water treatment chemicals.
Musa appealed to the National and County governments, donors and well-wishers to intervene by contributing water trucking services for both people and livestock and also upscale of animal health, immunization and surveillance.
By Simon Guruba