Millions of livestock stare at starvation in Turkana

Four million livestock are at risk of starvation due to drought in Turkana County.

Reports from the Department of Livestock Production and stakeholders in the county indicate that approximately 4,193,462 goats and sheep are at risk of being affected by the prolonged drought being experienced in the county.

The CEC for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy, and Fisheries Philip Aemun chaired a stakeholders meeting that brought together officials from different County departments and their colleagues from Non-Governmental organizations. The meeting was convened to discuss measures and strategies of resource mobilization to intervene on the ravaging drought effects that have a negative impact on to the source of livelihoods to the people in the County.

“Drought effects have progressively worsened as the county experience delayed onset of March-April-May rains. Generally, the whole county is at alarm phase, except for some pockets in the agro pastoral livelihood zones that seem to exhibit the alert phase indicators though rapidly worsening,” the report says. CECM Aemun described the drought situation as alarming, noting that the County Government is planning to have supplementary feeds and slaughter off-take that will help pastoralists cushion their animals against the effects of drought. Aemun said he intends to mobilize financial resources from its budget as well as source support from other willing partners to procure about 400 tonnes of supplementary feeds to target approximately 4,000 households and 100,000 goats countywide.  Other planned interventions include slaughter off-take or destocking of approximately 5,000 goats where each will cost Ksh. 4,000 to benefit 2,500 households.

While acknowledging past partners intervention support on mitigating disasters, the CEC that the prolonged drought had forced herders to migrate to new areas in search of water and pasture, making them vulnerable to both diseases, hunger and security risks.

Lakezone,Kaeris, Kaaleng/Kaikor and Lapur Wards in Turkana North as well as Kerio,Kalokol and Kangathota areas in Turkana Central have been identified by stakeholders as some of those most affected.

The report also adds Kalapata and Lokichar in Turkana South and Katilia and Kochodin areas in Turkana East to the list of areas that require urgent intervention. Loima and Lopur Wards have also been earmarked as drought hard-hit areas in Loima and Turkana West Sub-Counties respectively

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