Lamu, KENYA: Residents in drought hit villages in Lamu county are appealing to the national and county governments for food and water.
Villages of Pandanguo, Moa, Dide Waride, Kiangwe, Bar’goni, Bahamisi and most parts of Lamu East are hardest hit by the drought.
Villages of Kiangwe in Lamu East for instance have been forced to mange with only one well after the rest dried up due to the drought a month ago leaving them reeling from the effects.
The well has now become a source of conflict and constant bickering between the villagers and their neighbors who also come to seek water from the well leading to a ‘scramble to survive’ situation.
The well has however left many of its dependents with discolored and corroded teeth due to its high acidity levels.
Villagers said they sometimes have to go for days without cooking since there is no fresh water to cook with.
“We queue for several days just to get a container of water from the well and even then,that water has so much acidity that many of us have our teeth corroded.We have to rise up as early as 2am to queue for the water and even then,you will find many other people already there and wonder when they came.The well normally runs dry due to too much dependence and in such a case,we have to wait for some more days for it to refill.People have been fighting and injuring each other over this well,”said Yusta Muhsin.
Villagers of Dide Waride in Witu majority of whom are herders have been forced to share water sources with their livestock resulting in a myriad of waterborne infections.
In Pandanguo village,children no longer attend school and instead join their parents in the long treks in search of food and water from far flung villages kilometers away.
“Our children don’t attend classes. They accompany us in search of water and food in far places. The nearest place where we buy water is Witu town which is more than 21 kilometres from here. We need help,” said Pandanguo village elder Adan Golja.
The residents are wondering why the county government stopped a water boozer distribution programme to villages.
They are now appealing to the county and national governments to sink wells in the affected areas to address the dire situation.
Pastoralists are worried that their animals will die in their numbers if a solutions isn’t found soon.