Kenya: Prolonged Drought in Mandera Threatens Livestock as Deaths Reported

9 September 2019

At least 2,000 livestock have died in Mandera as the biting drought continues to ravage the semi-arid county.

The National Drought Management Authority (NMDA) Mandera office has recorded at least 371 deaths of cattle, 893 sheep, 755 goats and 68 camels.

"The situation is worsening because the short rains of April-May failed and the month of August has also gone without rains," said County NDMA

Director Hussein Mohamud Alio.

"Animals have started dying but as an agency we have started responding to the situation by distributing animal feeds to all affected areas," he said.

The county received 10,500 bags of livestock feed from National government on Saturday.

PROMPT RESPONSE NEEDED

According to NDMA, Mandera West is the most affected followed by Banisa Sub-County then Mandera North.

Mandera South and Mandera East are the least affected Sub Counties in the county.

Local leaders have urged both national and county governments to respond to the worsening situation on time.

Led by Rhamu Dimtu MCA Noor Mohamud Abdinur, they called for quick response measures.

"The drought situation in Mandera is getting out of hand and we need a quick response to save both livestock and human lives," he said.

FAILED RAINS

The MCA wants both governments to cushion locals against an impending catastrophe through mitigation measures.

"Livestock need pasture and water as human cry for food and water also across the county and we have to act before the worst hits the county," he said.

The failed short rains of April to June have been blamed for the current situation in Mandera.

"The April-June rains were not as expected in Mandera county and this has led to the current situation," he said.

According to the MCA, showers were only experienced in some parts of the county, leaving the prolonged drought to persist with adverse effects on humans and livestock.

LOOMING CRISIS

"Due to the failure of the short rains season, the drought hits the county worse than in the last few years. We have people facing water shortage in many parts of the county because shallow wells and other temporary water sources have dried up," he said.

In Mandera, pastoralists have migrated to the neighbouring countries of Ethiopia and Somalia in search of pasture and water.

"All parts of the county face the same scenario and need emergency attention from both national and the county before the situation worsens",

He said during census sensitization exercise, many parts visited showed drought effect in almost every ward in the county.

"Scenarios of dying animals and struggle for water was seen in most wards in the county", he said.

The ward wants emergency water trucking and relief food provided urgently to mitigate the hard biting drought.

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