The Isiolo County government has partnered with the World Food Programme (WFP) to provide food assistance worth Sh350 million to 6,667 hunger-stricken households in Kinna, Burat, Ngaremara and Oldonyiro wards.
This comes barely two weeks after National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) stated that close to 100,000 residents in the county are in dire need of food aid due to effects of the ongoing dry spell.
Other affected wards that need quick intervention, according to the NDMA report, include Cherab and Sericho.
To address the climate change effects, the county, under the Drought Resilient Livelihood Project (DRLP), has committed Sh380 million for building a middle-level dam on Lewa River to help irrigate at least 1,000 acres of land at Kilimani Galana Irrigation Scheme.
The NDMA report shows that almost all Isiolo residents are buying foodstuffs as farmers who planted during the March-April-May long rains harvested too little due to crop failure and inadequate rain that could not sustain their crops.
Water sources such as rivers and water pans are drying up due to the drought, forcing residents to travel longer distances in search of the basic commodity.
The county government has allocated Sh312 million in 2019-2020 budget for building of a multipurpose dam and drilling of boreholes in a bid to address water shortage in the region.
The county will spend Sh182 million for the dam that will provide water for domestic use, farming and livestock under the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture (KCSAP).
Some Sh130 million will be spent on sinking five boreholes (Sh35 million), maintenance and equipping of existing ones in Cherab, Sericho, Wabera and Garbatulla wards (Sh24 million).
The boreholes will be spread in Garbatulla, Sericho, Bula Pesa and Burat wards.
At least Sh16 million will be spent on water trucking, purchase of three standby generators, water storage tanks and extension of water supplies.
Some Sh34 million will go towards support of water services at the county headquarters based in Isiolo town and Korbesa water project in Cherab Ward.
To enhance food security, Governor Mohamed Kuti said his government is committed to providing extension services to 12,400 households in rural areas whose livelihoods depend on subsistence farming.
Mr Kuti expressed the need for residents in farming areas to consider planting drought-resistant crops such as sorghum, millet and green grams in a bid to ensure food security.
“With what we have experienced in the past, it is time to start planting drought-tolerant crops that will stand all the unfavourable weather conditions and ensure that we at least have some food,” said Mr Kuti.