Lamu County employs destocking to counter drought effects

Monday March 20 2017

The carcass of an animal that died due to hunger, lamu county

The carcass of an animal that died due to hunger at Lake Kenyatta in Lamu County on March 17, 2017. The county will start a destocking exercise to save more animals from dying. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KALUME KAZUNGU
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Lamu County is set to start a livestock destocking programme in areas affected by drought.

Mr Joseph Kanyiri, the county commissioner, said they are planning to purchase more than 1,000 animals, which will be slaughtered and distributed to the residents.

The programme is also being facilitated by the National Drought Management Authority and the ministry of Agriculture.

Mr Kanyiri said the move is meant to reduce losses encountered by the herders whose livestock continues to perish due to starvation.

The county’s NDMA coordinator Mohamed Dahir said the agency is also looking for markets where herders man sell some of their animals.

“Our intention is not only to buy and slaughter all the cattle affected. Our objective is entirely meant to reduce the number of livestock in Lamu suffering due to the drought,” he said.

“That’s why apart from the 1,000 heads of cattle to be slaughtered, we are also looking for markets for those interested to sell their animals to other counties where the effects of the drought are less felt. We want to ensure that at least 200 animals are sold.”

Additionally, addressing journalists in his office, Mr Kanyiri said a special committee has been formed and is already going round the affected areas to acquaint the farmers about the new programme.

The targeted villages ore Moa, Lumshi, Pangani, Witu, Dide Waride, Pandanguo, Hongwe, Bahari, Bar’goni, Ndeu, and Pate.

According to recent statistics from NDMA, over 70,000 residents are facing starvation and over 200,000 heads of cattle lack pasture.

Drought and famine have affected 23 counties and the government is distributing relief food to the victims and more funds have been secured to assuage the situation.