Officials issue drought warning in Marsabit County

Tuesday February 6 2018

Marsabit County

Women fetch water in Marsabit County on February 6, 2018. PHOTO | IRENE MWENDWA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By IRENE MWENDWA
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Marsabit County is set to experience an extended drought period for the next three months, county National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) boss Golicha Guyo has said.

In an interview with the Nation, Mr Guyo said the county team has begun an assessment process that is also ongoing in 23 other hazard counties in the country.

Mr Guyo pointed out that the assessment will aid NDMA in proper planning since the drought has already hit.

“We received little rainfall during the short rains last year. Most water pans collected little water and are drying up already,” said Mr Guyo.

The NDMA boss also said that Ambalo and Badalelo areas in Moyale sub-county are already hit by lack of pasture and water.

He said that pastoralists from Isiolo, Mandera, and Wajir have moved to Moyale in search of the scarce resources leading to strain and fast usage of the little available.

“Moyale had received more rain compared to other sub-counties but the resources available have been used up since our neighbours also came into the region earlier,” added Mr Guyo.

Mr Guyo said that the team would do thorough field work the whole of next week.

He added that a report would be compiled and plans made in 12 days’ time.

“We have already come up with committees that will meet every week and we will come up with Marsabit County Drought Response Plan immediately we have gathered all necessary info,” he said.

NDMA promised to ensure that all 30 strategic boreholes are operating and that they have enough fuel ahead of the drought period.

The NDMA boss also urged pastoralists to sell off some of their livestock and be left with a manageable number before the drought hits.

“At the moment livestock are healthy and prices are quite good. Herders should sell them instead of disposing them at throw away prices when the drought hits and losing them to the drought,” said Mr Guyo.

NDMA held a meeting with all stakeholders across the county at Jirime Hotel on Tuesday in preparation of the assessment process.

Representatives of all non-governmental organisations and Kenya Food Security Steering Group were present at the meeting.

According to a report by Unicef released recenlty, drought conditions expected to persist into 2018 have left 3.4 million people severely food insecure and estimated 500,000 people without access to water.

About 482, 882 children require treatment for acute malnutrition, among them 104, 614 who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, the report says.

The report noted that 83 per cent of these children are from 23 arid and semi-arid counties in the country.