Kilifi, KENYA: The National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) has commenced the purchase of livestock in drought prone areas of Kilifi County.
This program comes as herders continue to count losses following death of their animals due to prolonged drought in the area.
Addressing the press on Wednesday, NDMA Kilifi County coordinator Morowa Dhadho said the first phase of the Kilifi County livestock off take and slaughter program, will be implemented in Bamba ward in Ganze Sub County and Kayafungo and Mariakani wards in Kaloleni Sub-county.
“We have held a three hour crisis meeting at the governor’s office with stakeholders and the National Government has sent officers to the affected areas to commence the process of buying out the livestock from farmers, with a first target of 457 livestock,” said Dhadho.
Mr Dhadho said NDMA had set aside Sh. 11.5 million to respond to the effects of drought in parts of Kilifi and especially Ganze Sub County.
He said the funds drawn from a European Union funded Drought Contingency Fund (DCF) will go towards supporting livestock, vaccination of the animals from foot and Mouth disease, deworming and provision of fodder to the animals.
The meeting was attended by Kilifi County officials, NDMA team, the Red Cross and Coast Water service board to look for ways to mitigate the crisis that has so far led to the death of thousands of livestock in Magarini, Kaloleni and Ganze Sub Counties.
“The situation especially in Ganze has reached an alarming stage and if we are at the moment to scale the gravity of the situation some areas have reached level four,” said Dhadho.
“Livestock have been greatly affected and as a result the National Government has started to buy animals that will be slaughtered and distributed to the most affected people in the county,” he added.
Farmers have reported that more than 10,000 livestock have so far died in a span of three months in Bamba only.
The farmers have also been complaining of exploitation by middle men with some emaciated livestock going for as low as sh. 700 for goats and sh. 1,500 for cattle.
However, Kilifi County secretary Owen Baya termed the current drought as a calamity, asking for assistance from well-wishers and Kenyans in general to donate relief food for the affected areas where more than 200,000 people face starvation.
“The County Government has almost exhausted its resources after leading a rigorous three months food distribution exercise in the county,” said Baya.
“We have so far distributed more than 20 tons of food which we thought would stabilize the situation but it is now getting out of hand,” Mr. Baya added as he called upon the area Mp. Peter Shehe to break his silence on the situation.
“I am amazed by Ganze MP Peter Shehe’s silence while people are starving and livestock are dying,” Baya lamented.
“We want to hear him speak out and call for assistance because we are at a crucial time where each and every leader must come out to address the current situation,” said Mr Baya.