Lamu, KENYA: Livestock owners in Lamu County have been asked to sell off their animals as a destocking measure in order to counter losses occurring due to the prolonged drought in various parts of the county.
According to the drought management office in Lamu County, 30,000 residents and over 200,000 livestock are in dire need of food and water since most of the pastures, farmlands and wells in the affected parts have dried up due to the drought.
Lamu County National Drought Management Authority Coordinator Mohamed Dahir, said herders risk losing their livestock to the drought and urged them to sell them off before things get worse in the county.
Speaking in Lamu on Sunday,Dahir said the worst hit areas by the drought in Lamu include Pandanguo,Witu,Hongwe,Mtangawanda,Bargoni,Basuba,Milimani and Mangai areas across the county.
“The drought here is now a disaster and as an office we are doing all we can to counter the impending losses. As it is now over 30,000 residents in the affected areas and over 200,000 heads of livestock are staring at acute starvation.” Said Dahir.
He said it was better for them to sell off the livestock and have some money to spend; as opposed to losing their animals to the drought.
“We are however appealing to herders to consider selling their animals and get some money instead of waiting for the drought to kill all of them. ” added Dahir.
He appealed to the national and county governments to help the affected areas and supply relief food and water.
Dahir has also called on the county government of Lamu to help the livestock owners seek and acquire outside markets for their livestock as soon as possible before the animals begin dying from the biting drought.
He also said there was need for the county to establish measures that will regulate the increased movement of livestock from neighboring counties to Lamu.
The county government has in the meantime together with the office of the county commissioner Joseph Kanyiri, formed a committee that made a tour of the affected areas and provide possible recommendations as solutions.
The committee is expected to officially launch its report on the situation on Wednesday this week.