The County Government of Tana River has launched a water trucking exercise targeting water stress areas that are far from the river, even as drought continues to bite.
The launch came barely a day after residents complained of being neglected by the County administration, while they remained in suffering.
The National Drought Management Authority said in its Drought Early Warning that, “The current distance to water sources is above the long-term average of 3.7 kilometers 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.”
“We are here as the County Steering Group (CSG) according to the drought situation we are in and the reports we have received, for four consecutive seasons now we have not received rain.
We have had a long dry season, and we have decided that we must distribute water to our people, especially those places that are far from the river. Today we are here to officially launch the activity,” said Mathew Babwoya, the county executive for Finance and Economic Planning.
Babwoya added that the water trucking exercise will reduce the severity of the drought. He assured drought-stricken residents that more water bowsers will be repaired in due course to help in the supply of water.
He further accented that the County has in its coffers not less than Sh264million to combat drought and other disasters.
He said, “These efforts of the government will continue because we as the county government have an emergency fund which is two percent of the county’s budget, which is approximately Sh132million once we finish the plans to clear the budget for this financial year that money will help fight this situation.”
There is the disaster risk management fund, he added, through the department of special programs also to fight disasters. As a county government, we have not less than Sh264million funds that will help us for eight months of this financial year.
County Commissioner Thomas Sankei hailed the County Government for heeding their calls to repair water bowsers to augment NDMA in water trucking.
“We have a very severe drought in every part except those areas near the river from Bangale to Assa Kone. I commend the County Government for the quick efforts to repair the vehicles. NDMA has been distributing water and we hope these efforts will help many people,’’ said the County Commissioner.
Sankei assured area residents that more relief food would be provided. Last week, he flagged off the distribution of food to all the five Sub-Counties.
By Sadik Hassan