Drought-hit Isiolo villagers seek livestock offtake plan
Livestock owners and traders in Isiolo county have appealed to the government to buy their emaciated animals to cushion them from huge losses and the prevailing drought.
They urged the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) and other partners to buy their livestock at reasonable prices.
Traders at the livestock market complained about poor prices that the animals are fetching due to low weight.
Isiolo Livestock Market chairman Abdi Halake Fayo said drought has kept away many key buyers from Nairobi and Kiambu counties.
He urged the National and County governments to initiate programmes that will moderate the drought.
Isiolo NDMA coordinator Omar Abdullahi said the current famine is severe, adding that this is the fourth season in a row that the area has received inadequate rainfall.
A recent assessment revealed that over 28,000 households in Isiolo County are in dire need of humanitarian aid, with fears of poor rains in the October-December season.
Speaking at Isiolo Livestock Market accompanied by representatives of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) last week, the County Executive Member for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Lawrence Mwongela, said Oldonyiro, Kipsing, Sericho, Garbatula, Chari and Cherab areas were the worst hit, with over 60 per cent of homes and livestock affected. - KNA
According to Dr. Mwongela, at least 60 per cent of animals across the county are affected and are in dire need of nutritional supplements like the ‘range cubes’ to improve their body condition and help them overcome the drought challenges
He said that there was a need for the government to subsidize the range cubes so that they are made available locally and at fair prices.
He added that the county government was partnering with various organizations to scale up water trucking services in most of the hard hit areas and also hired experts.
Dr. Mwongela reiterated that there was need for the National Government through the Kenya Meat Commission to also conduct a ‘Livestock Off-take Programme’ that will enable them to buy the emaciated animals from locals to stay away from further losses.