Kenya

Agency warns of intense drought in arid areas

Most hit areas include Oldonyiro, Garba Tulla, Gafarsa, Mlango and Chari.

The drought in Isiolo could worsen in the next three months, a State agency has warned.

National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) coordinator Lordman Lekalkuli said abnormal livestock migration currently witnessed in the region was due to inadequate rainfall in March and April. He said poor pasture and inadequate water sources for more than 300,000 goats, 400,000 sheep and 200,000 cattle county-wide has forced livestock herders to move to neighbouring counties.

The most hit areas include Oldonyiro, Garba Tulla, Gafarsa, Mlango and Chari.

The official said conflicts over resources and upsurge in animal diseases are likely to increase due to drought. Currently, livestock from Oldonyiro have migrated to Laikipia County while those grazing in Merti Sub-County have transferred to Yamicha and Duma areas in search of pastures and water.

Animals from the neighbouring Garissa, Wajir and Samburu counties have migrated to grazing zones in Isiolo.

The NDMA is set to activate the Drought Contingency plan within two months, he said.

Mr Lekalkuli said livestock prices in the county have dropped from Sh30, 000 to Sh20, 000 per cattle as farmers rush to sell due to fears of an impending drought. “Livestock markets in Eskot, Oldonyiro,Isiolo and Kipsing are full because most livestock keepers have opted to sell,” he said.