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Thousands hit by worsening drought in Marsabit County

Thursday August 1 2019

Marsabit drought

Marsabit Governor Mohamud Ali (seated 2nd right) and other leaders during a press conference on the current drought situation at Jirime Resort Centre, Marsabit Town on July 30, 2019. The leaders appealed for immediate food and water supply intervention from well-wishers. PHOTO | JACOB WALTER | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JACOB WALTER
By JACOB WALTER
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Thousands of residents of Marsabit County are in dire need of food and water as the ongoing drought worsens.

County leaders are now appealing for immediate relief food and water supply from well-wishers.

Speaking to journalists in Marsabit Town, Governor Mohamud Ali expressed panic over the critical situation which has continued to worsen in all the county’s four constituencies.

HERDERS MIGRATE

He said that all the pastures have been depleted and 90 percent of the water sources have dried up, forcing herders to migrate with their animals to Samburu and Isiolo counties with others moving across the border to neighbouring Ethiopia.

He urged the national government to intervene and supplement his county’s efforts in supplying food and water trucking to avert any deaths.

The most affected areas are Laisamis, North Horr and Moyale and parts of Saku Sub-County.

FOOD AID

The county government has distributed 10,000 bags of maize, 2,000 bags of beans and 2,000 cartons of cooking oil at a cost of Sh233 million.

Senator Godana Hargura said even the most reliable water sources in the area have dried up.

Deputy Governor Solomon Gubo and North Horr MP Chachu Ganya also expressed their fears over the current situation, saying that cases of malnutrition could be on rise in the region if urgent mitigating measures are not taken to ensure children below five years get food supplements.

Speaking at the press briefing, the county’s National Drought Management Authority Coordinator Guyo Golicha said the hunger situation in the region has reached an alert stage and is approaching the alarm phase.

Mr Golicha said the current situation calls for urgent resource mobilisation.

SCHOOLS AFFECTED

He pointed out that the situation has severely affected school attendance as most learners from ECDE to secondary school levels have been forced to drop out due to the biting hunger.

He added that some institutions in Laisamis and North Horr sub-counties have been forced to close early due to the drought and lack of school feeding programmes.

Nuno Galma, a human rights activist in Marsabit, told the Nation that most residents in the remotest areas of the county risk losing their animals in the event of rainfall failure in the next two months.

He also said that most families are currently not assured of putting food on their tables.

He said that food has become a luxury to many households.