More boreholes will be drilled in northern Kenya in an emergency response by the government to mitigate the food shortage communities there are facing.
According to Special Programmes assistant minister Mohamud Ali, the government will also start emergency water tankering to the worst hit areas by the drought especially schools.
In Marsabit North district for instance, five schools are yet to reopen for lack of water, which has made the drought situation critical.
They include, Forolle, El Hadi, Bakaka and Turbi primary schools.
Mr Ali, who led a team of six permanent secretaries to the areas hard hit by the drought in northern Kenya, on Thursday said the government will also increase emergency relief food for the pastoral communities.
Most communities in the region are pastoralists. They are now starving since their animals have been succumbing to the drought. Two people have already starved to death.
The team toured Marsabit North, Sololo, Moyale in Upper Eastern region and Garissa in North Eastern province.
The PS’s included Francis Kimemia (Internal Security), Andrew Mondoh (Special Programmes), Kenneth Lusaka (Livestock), Romano Kiome (Agriculture), David Stower (Water) and Lawrence Lenayapa (Development of Northern Kenya).
North Horr MP, Chachu Ganya was also in the team.
During the fact finding mission, the government team established that where dry pastures are available there is no water and livestock have to trek for more than 50-kilometres to access water.
It is in the process of trekking that the animals die.
Boreholes, Mr Ali said will be sunk in areas where the dry pastures are available.
While in Huri Hills location in Marsabit North, the assistant minister promised that the government will contract three private water tankers to distribute water to the whole district.
Currently, the district which is one of the worst hit by the drought, has only one water bowser owned by the Water Ministry.
“By the end of the week we shall be able to deliver water to you all,” Mr Ali who is also the Moyale MP told the residents of Huri Hills.
And from Monday he also announced, the government will start distributing relief food to the starving families in the region.
He noted that if the expected long rains will fail most of the animals in the Northern region will be wiped out.
“The number of households in need of food aid is growing by the day as intensity of the drought increases but we are still in initial stage of assessing the drought and the programme will roll out in full swing,” said Mr Ali.
Speaking separately to Saturday Nation by telephone from his Moyale constituency yesterday, Mr Ali said the government will avail funds for livestock take-off programme before the condition worsens in coming months.
“Time is running out for the pastoralists and the government should buy animals from them before it’s too late to save herders from losses posed by drought,” North Horr MP, Mr Ganya said.