Drought stricken families in Samburu County will benefit from a Sh23.7 million livestock offtake programme from the national government drought response fund.
The programme which involves buying emaciated animals from the community and slaughtering them for consumption by the same community to improve on nutrition targets over 260 thousand families in Samburu County.
Speaking at the Sub-County Steering Group (SCSG) meeting, Samburu Central Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Titus Omanyi said that the national government through the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) is working together with the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) to ensure that 1,586 cows, sheep and goats are bought and slaughtered in the county.
Omanyi said that 500 animals would be bought and slaughtered in Samburu North, another 500 in Samburu East and 586 in Samburu Central adding that a cow would be bought at Sh15, 000 and a sheep or goat would be bought at Sh300.
Omanyi noted that the government has already wired the funds to KRCS to ensure cashless payments are made after the offtake to increase the purchasing power of the residents.
“The government will buy the animals from the most vulnerable households in the society such as women led households, orphans, widows, people living with disabilities and families not on any cash transfer programs,” he said.
The DCC noted that during the ground slaughter and relief meat distribution, one cow would feed ten families while a goat would feed four families and in the targeted public institutions, such as secondary schools one cow was expected to feed 50 students.
During the meeting, it emerged that Samburu Central has lost over 40 per cent of its livestock population to drought and that the last offtake programme was in 2017.
The offtake programme which will end on July 31 will be led by KMC together with KRCS while the State Department of Livestock will coordinate and monitor the exercise.
By Robert Githu