Lamu, KENYA: Over 200 cows have been slaughtered and used to feed hunger stricken villagers in Lamu in a destocking programme launched by the National Drought Management Authority-NDMA this week.
The programme estimated to cost at least Sh.50 Million is financed by the European Union-EU and targets villages worst hit by prolonged drought in Lamu County and is also partly sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture and the county government of Lamu.
The programme is also meant to reduce pressure on pasture lands and water resources and also reduce the number of livestock perishing as a result of the ravaging drought in the region.
Addressing the public during the launch of the destocking slaughter program at Moa Village in Lamu West on Tuesday,County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri said they were targeting at least 1000 heads of livestock to be purchased, slaughtered and fed to residents facing hunger and starvation all over Lamu County.
Kanyiri said they had also embarked on commercial off take program where over 5000 heads of livestock are being purchased from herders and taken to the Galana-Kulalu Ranch for purposes of livestock health improvement.
The first phase of the program saw a total of 400 heads of livestock from the villages affected by drought in Lamu taken to Galana-Kulalu.
He said at the moment,another herd of 2000 heads of livestock was being purchased in the second phase of the commercial off take program at Bar’goni village and its environs.
The commissioner said the third phase will target at least 3000 heads of livestock.
He said the exercise is conducted through interventions by experts from the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC).
“We are at Moa village today to launch the destocking slaughter exercise. We are targeting at purchasing at least 1000 heads of livestock to be slaughtered in Lamu and meat distributed as relief food to locals affected by drought. We have already bought 50 cows which have been slaughtered and meat distributed to the locals,” said Kanyiri.
Kanyiri revealed the cattle were being purchased at a cost of between Sh 13,500 and Sh 16,000 and called on herders to cooperate in ensuring the exercise is a success.
Lamu County NDMA Coordinator Mohamed Dahir said villages targeted for the programme include Moa, Dide Waride, Poromoko, Koreni, Lake Amu, Pangani, Mkunumbi and Bar’goni all in Lamu West Sub-County.
In Lamu East, areas targeted include all villages hard hit by drought in Pate Island and Kizingitini.
The NDMA coordinator said they intend to buy at least 50 cows are bought from herders in each of the villages affected by the calamity.
“We are also providing animal feeds and conducting other livestock health interventions. We are committed to ensuring that the pastoral communities in villages hardest hit by drought in Lamu County don’t get the worst effects and conditions of the drought,” said Mr Dahir.
Lamu County is among the 23 counties in arid and semi arid lands which are worst affected by the ongoing drought in the country.