More than 25,000 people have been forced to move from their homes in Pokot and parts of Turkana following severe drought. An acute shortage of water and food has forced families to migrate to the neighbouring counties of Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo.
Kenya Red Cross official Kennedy Mulama said his organisation is working on providing water and relief food to affected families."We are already looking into how we can have lorries to provide water for the affected families who also need relief food as a matter of urgency,"said Mulama told the Star on the phone yesterday. In Pokot areas hit hard by the drought include Natan, Riongo, Nalekat, Merkalei, Kadidingding, Chemaril and Akwichatis locations.
Pupils at 10 schools have been forced to move with their parents in search of food, water and pasture. Some nomadic families have crossed the border into Uganda with their animals.
The drought has caused a shortage of milk and increased prices of food. Prices of milk have doubled by more than 50 per cent, from about Sh35 per litre to Sh50 or higher in some areas.
However, weathermen say the short rains will start in the next few days and help ease the drought. Prices of onions, vegetables and fruits have increased in the last few weeks due to declining supplies in most markets in the region.
Some of the fruits are grown in Kerio Valley which has also been affected by drought. The government has planned to initiate irrigation schemes in parts of Pokot, Turkana and Baringo to help produce food for the arid counties.
The Kenya Red Cross Society has already initiated an irrigation project to help improve food security in parts of Kerio Valley at a cost of more than Ksh 150 million.
Red Cross is undertaking the project in collaboration with the Canadian Red Cross and it will benefit more than 3,000 families in Marakwet and East Pokot regions.
The Tot-Kolowa Irrigation and Water supply project whose source of water is Embobut river will benefit the families extensively.