Governor Lenku: Over 110,000 families affected by drought in Kajiado

Governor Lenku: Over 110,000 families affected by drought in Kajiado

Kajiado governor Joseph ole Lenku. | FILE

Kajiado governor Joseph ole Lenku has revealed that the ravaging drought being experienced in 29 counties across the country has affected 110,000 families in his county.

The governor on Sunday said the situation is dire, adding that Kajiado has been experiencing the drought for the last 4 months.

Lenku pointed out that on top of the drought’s effect on the human population, 400,000 livestock are in need of food across mainly-pastoralist county which boasts of a cow population of close to a million.

“As of two weeks ago, over 110,000 families are affected and in need of assistance in terms of food relief. Over 400,000 livestock require food pellets,” said the governor.

Additionally, the county boss said wildlife in the Amboseli and Tsavo national parks, parts of which lie in the county, have been adversely affected.

 “In the Amboseli National Park now, the first thing the wardens do in the morning is removing carcasses from the road. We are about to lose our people and we are losing livestock and wildlife in big numbers,” said Governor Lenku.

The drought has in turn caused an economic crisis in the county because of its residents’ dependency on the sale of milk and meat as their main income-generating activity.

 And with the highly anticipated short rains not going to be sufficient, per meteorological predictions, the governor has expressed worry that the situation is not going to end soon.

So far, the county has explored partnerships with the National government and non-governmental organisations to acquire relief food, but the governor says their long-term plan is to set up dams that are not dependent on rains to get water.

 “We don’t need rains, we need water because then we will have fodder for our animals and food for the people and the whole chain is complete again. Each dam will be equipped with a borehole so that throughout the year, the borehole which is solar-powered will have water,” Lenku said.

Lenku has further challenged the National government to boost the livestock uptake program by supporting the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC).

“We have 100 million shillings that will go to the uptake program, and while it will take only 5,000 cows, it is better than nothing. I want to urge the national government to allocate more money to KMC for a larger uptake going into hundreds of thousands,” he said.

According to the Kenya Red Cross, 29 counties have been affected by the drought, 12 of which are on red alert.

Over 4.3 million people are meanwhile in need of continuous support of food and water.

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