HARN Decries Slow Pace To Address Drought In The Country

Horizon Analysts and Researchers Network (HARN) has said that more efforts have to be put in to mitigate effects of drought that is currently ravaging almost half of the country.

The organization asked the Pastoralist Parliamentary Group (PPG) to talk about the plight of their electorate instead of keeping quiet yet the pastoralists’ cries are flooding the Mainstream and the Digital Media.

Speaking at a Nairobi hotel, HARN Executive Director Siyad Jimale said that Kenya, especially in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) counties, has had five consecutive failed rain seasons making it the worst drought in decades.

“According to the latest data a staggering 4.5 million people in arid and semi-arid areas are facing acute food insecurity and a significant increase of malnutrition rate,” stated Jimale.

He noted that livestock productivity is currently on a declining trend, 40 to 80 percent of the total livestock in the pastoral counties migrated out of their resident livelihood zones to neighbouring counties and across the national borders to neighbouring countries like Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.

“The drought migration of livestock from areas as far as Mandera, Wajir to counties of Kitui and its environs in search of pasture has also caused clan clashes leaving at least 10 people dead,” revealed Jimale.

He added that a delegate gathering held in Kenya for the 63rd Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF 63) examined forecasts for the March to May (MAM) 2023 season and points towards depressed rainfall and high temperatures.

Jimale alleged that most County governments that are worst hit by drought were doing misplaced development projects including construction of palatial offices, renovations and other projects that are not helping the people affected by drought and victims of food insecurity at the moment.

“The 4.5 million people facing serious food insecurity is not just a number that the government can just turn a blind eye and continue with other programs,” expressed Jimale.

He maintained that all the indicators are showing the situation in pastoral counties is really worsening and there is need for a serious intervention, at whatever cost and called on the President to declare drought as a national disaster.

Pastoral communities have migrated out of their resident livelihood zones to neighbouring counties and across neighbouring countries like Somalia, Ethiopia, S. Sudan , Uganda and Tanzania.

According to the latest research, livestock mortalities across the pastoral and marginal mixed farming zones have increased driven by starvation, dehydration and disease as a result of the raving drought which is on an alarming rate.

The mortalities are presumed to be 203198 cattle, 584250 goats, 615407 sheep and 83456 camels across Marsabit , Turkana and Samburu Counties.

Equally, the counties of Laikipia, Kajiado and Nyeri recorded 475,363 livestock deaths due to the ongoing drought.

This data corresponds with statics given to the President by National Drought Management Authority and partners.

Horizon Analysts and Researchers Network (HARN) is now compiling scientific research on the current drought (2020 – 2022) which has been the most severe and longest with widespread livelihood loses and massive displacement of populations.

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