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Tana River residents appeal for water

Residents of Haroresa in Galledyetu in Tana River County are appealing for a supply of clean drinking water to prevent waterborne diseases, even as drought continues to bite in the area, with most of the water sources having dried up.

The residents said they have been experiencing diarrhoea and are forced to travel for 46 kilometers to seek treatment at the Hola Referral Hospital following the transfer of the local dispensary doctor.

“The drought is very severe, animals are dying, and the water being used by the people is very dirty. School children are also drinking untreated water from water pans,” decried Issa Abdi, a resident of Haroresa.

He went on: “The County Government of Tana River does not even give us support, I don’t know if it is because we didn’t vote for the Governor or what, but it would be good to be supplied with clean water for human and livestock consumption.”

However, contacted for comment, the County Executive for Finance and Economic Planning Mathew Babwoya said that since the county budget had been approved, water bowsers will be deployed soon to deliver clean water to the affected areas.

At the same time, the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) says in its September Drought Early Warning report that the household trekking distance increased to 12.6 km from 11.8 km in August.

Last week, the County Commissioner Mbogai Rioba flagged off the distribution of relief food to the Tana River, Tana Delta, Galledyetu, Bura, and Bangale Sub-Counties with Tana River Sub-County receiving 2000, 50 kg bags of rice and 800, 50kg bags of beans.

“The current distance to water sources is above the long-term average of 3.7 kilometres due to lack of rain and the ongoing drought in the county, most of the water sources are no longer safe for drinking, therefore households prefer alternative sources,’’ reads the NDMA report.

The report added that the recharge levels in most of the open water sources such as water pans and dams within pastoral livelihood zones were dry and most livestock keepers have started migrating towards fallback grazing fields of Tana Delta.

By Sadik Hassan

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