By Mbarak Abucheri:
Garissa County faces drought aftermath of last year’s El-Nino rains that is usually followed by La-Nina dry spell start setting in.
Local leaders are now urging both the county and national governments to come up with intervention measures to assist the pastoralists’ communities from losing their livestock to the drought.
Addressing the press in Garissa town on Monday, Lagdera Member of Parliament, Mohamed Shidiye said it was important for the two arms of government to closely work together and ensure that pastoralists do not lose their only source of livelihood.
Shidiye said the conflicts being witnessed along the Garissa – Isiolo boarders between two warring communities revolves around competition for the dwindling pasture and water for both livestock and human beings.
“We are at a critical time. We have a looming drought that might subsequently lead to famine. Something needs to be done urgently and now otherwise hundreds of livestock could be lost,” he said.
According to the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), the situation will worsen if it does not rain in the next few weeks. The area has not received rain for the past three months.
“When you have a drought situation, conflicts between two communities as witnessed recently are likely to happen. Naturally the situation will be aggravated, thus the need to prevent the situation from getting out of hand,” said Shidiye.
Masalani Member of County Assembly, Abubakar Shide and his Ijara counterpart, Mohamed Abdullahi in a separate interview called on the county government to boost the number of water bowsers so as to reach all the affected areas of the county.
“It is important that the county government responds to the needs of its people. They should be pro-active and not reactive as has been the case,” said Abubakar.
Mohamed, on his part urged the government to subsidize livestock drugs, saying chances of livestock disease outbreak was high and that majority of the pastoralists might not be able to afford them.