Government sets aside sh 14 M to buy cattle from drought prone...

Government sets aside sh 14 M to buy cattle from drought prone areas

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A man looking after cattle in a drought prone area. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Kilifi, KENYA: The national government has set aside sh. 14 million to buy cattle and livestock pasture in the drought hit areas in Kilifi County.

Addressing journalists in his office during a press conference on Wednesday, just a day after Baraka FM highlighted the sorry state of hunger in Ganze sub-county, Kilifi county commissioner Joseph Keter said the process is underway.

Keter said the government will use sh. 5 million to buy 450 cattle which will be slaughtered and distributed to poor people living in the areas and use sh. 9 million to buy pasture for the remaining livestock.

“We have a total of 266,683 people affected by hunger and drought in the entire Kilifi County.In Ganze, the total number of affected people is 88,277 out of a total population of 132,688 people,” he added.

He said Magarini is leading in terms of hunger and drought in the County with the largest number of affected people.

“The total population of Magarini is 151,159 people and out of it there’s a total of 129,602 people affected by hunger,” he added.

According to Keter, the situation has worsened compared to last year’s. He also added that already the national government has set aside funds for boreholes to be drilled in the drought prone areas.

“Last year we had a total number of 244,068 affected people but the number has gone up to 266,683 which means we have to take immediate action in terms of long lasting solution,” Keter said.

In July 2016, Kenya Food Security steering group in conjunction with National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) released a report that showed the County was not in a crisis as far as food is concerned.

Speaking during the release of the report, Kilifi County Drought Coordinator (NDMA) Omar Morowa, said the whole of Ganze Sub-county and parts of Magarini, Kaloleni and Malindi sub-counties were in a stressed situation on food security.

“We are not in crisis situation but stressed and the national government has already set aside measures to counter the situation,” he said.

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In a span of three months, more than 10,000 livestock have been reported to have died by farmers due to drought, lack of pasture and water in Ganze Sub-county.