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Pastoralists advised to reduce herds due to drought

Pastoralist communities from Isiolo County have been advised to reduce their herds’ size to avoid loss in the prevailing drought which is threatening to wipe out their livestock.

They were asked to sell some of their livestock and shun huge losses as a result of lack of pasture and water due to the drought that is killing their animals in numbers.

The National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) County coordinator, Lordman Lekalkuli said that destocking animals in the dry spell would ease the much pressure on the strained natural resources.

Lekalkuli said the livestock keepers in the area should sell their animals this month when the animals are in good body condition because they can fetch better returns than wait until they are weakened by drought and make losses.

“If the livestock owners sell the animals early this month they will be lucky to get better prices instead of waiting to reduce stocks later when they will be weak and some die from severe drought,” he said.

The drought management officer said the government has been making numerous appeals to the pastoralists to reduce sizes of their stock at the onset of dry spell and restock when the situation improves so as to maximize profits of the trade which is their economic mainstay.

He added that more than half of the County’s population was in need of food support and the situation was worsening and likely to get better after three months when the October-December rain season is expected.

Mr. Lekalkuli said the government and partners had been promoting drought resilience among the local communities so that they could easily cope with the drought situations.

Among the resilience activities include ensuring the residents are food secure using the cash transfer strategy, making water accessible through new and existing projects, and provision of animal feeds and farm inputs.

About 4 million Kenyans from 23 ASAL counties across the country are in dire need of food support following failure of rains in the last three seasons in the region.

By David Nduro

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