100,000 people facing starvation in Isiolo County

About 80 per cent of households in Isiolo County are facing starvation, a report by National Drought and Management Authority (NDMA) reveals.

Last month’s drought early warning bulletin for the region released Wednesday during the County Steering Group meeting indicates that the dry spell has severely affected 100,000 people.

County NDMA Coordinator Lordman Lekalkuli said the region is affected by poor access to food commodities occasioned by deteriorating crop and milk production, poor incomes and high food prices.

The June bulletin further indicates that food prices continue to increase thereby eroding household’s purchasing power.

MALNUTRITION

He said the county’s drought status is at alarm stage, and that the trend is worsening.

The report further says percentage of children under five years at risk of malnutrition in June increased to 29.6 per cent from 28 per cent in May.

“The current high proportion of children at risk of malnutrition is attributed to the reduced amount and frequency of meals and limited dietary diversity mainly due to the worsening food availability,” read the report.

The report states that livestock are emaciated with several deaths reported in Sericho, Cherab and Oldonyiro wards.

The severe dry spell has led to an acute water shortage in Sericho, Merti and Garbatulla wards.

SHALLOW WELLS

Shallow wells that were used for domestic purposes and livestock consumption have dried up in Bassa, Dakiye and Malkagalla centres.

Mr Lekalkuli said water trucking intervention supported by County Government and NDMA is currently ongoing in areas severely hit by the shortage.

On livestock migration, the report indicates that concentration of livestock around few water points including boreholes, sand dams and shallow wells could likely contribute to spread communicable diseases.

In search for pasture, locals have moved thousands of livestock to Moyale, Marsabit, nearby national reserves and private ranches in Laikipia County.

The report recommends the county and national government to provide timely food aid to vulnerable families and enhance livestock market subsidy.

It also urges the national government to enhance livestock off-take, slaughter destocking programmes and purchase of livestock feeds to cushion pastoralists from further losses.

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