Drought Status Nears Alarming: Rapid Drought Assessment Report

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A young herder at one of the water sources in Marsabit County

95 percent of the  water sources have dried up forcing livestock farmers to use fewer wells which do not fulfill the water demand for humans and livestock. This is according to a new report highlighting the severe drought in the county of Marsabit.

The report released on 28th October at the Pastoral Centre has estimated that many areas in the county are facing severe drought conditions, with livestock, particularly sheep, goats and donkeys and even humans reported to require emergency assistance from the government.

The report focused on the following sectors; water, livestock, peace and security, food, health and education and was put forth by Guyo Golicha, Chief officer of the National Disaster Management Authority in Marsabit County.

Due to the drought conditions,  Arge, Marime, Thekuku, Dokatu and El Hadi wells have been greatly affected. Residents from these areas as well as those from Sori Adi and Burgabo have to wait for over 12 hours to get water. However, areas of Ele Bor, Demo and Hawaye and other areas do not have water storage facilities.

In South Horr, Laisamis sub-county, residents are forced to buy a 20 liters jar of water for as high as 50 shillings. Ele Bor residents have to go all the way to Turbi to access the precious commodity. Similarly, livestock are forced to travel between 40-60 kilometers while camels trek for 60-80 kilometers in search of water and pasture in North Horr sub-county. Pastures in Illeret, Darate, Buluk and Wajir have been tough areas to access due to increasing insecurity in these areas.

The report was presented by officials who visited several areas to gauge the severity of the situation as well as meet the locals.

A large number of livestock and the absence of market is said to be a contributing factor to the drought conditions in the county. This is according to the governor Ukur Yattani. Speaking during the reception of the report of the drought situation in the county, Yattani urged non-governmental organizations to assist the efforts being planned by his government helping victims of drought.

Governor Ukur Yattani is expected to lead an emergency mission by the county government officials and deliver the hay for residents of Kambi Nyoka which has faced a greater drought effect than other areas.

While this was going on, a representative of women’s Marsabit county Nasr Ibrahim said that the increasingly severe drought not only in the county but across the country. Ms Ibrahim has urged the county government and the central government to set specific strategies to address the drought issue as soon as possible.

Speaking to SIFA FM Marsabit, James Korie, a resident from Illeret has noted that the situation is worse in the area. He fears that if the drought conditions persist, animal and human deaths will be reported.

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