Kenya

Climate watch warns of imminent drought in parts of Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Officials at Kenya's drought early warning system have sounded an alert over looming drought in parts of Kajiado bordering Tanzania, following a prolonged dry spell in the largely arid and semi-arid district.
District early warning officer Otieno Osunga has written to the local district commissioner and other relief agencies alerting them about increasing food insecurity in the vast district known for its vast herds of livestock and abundant wildlife.

According to Osunga, all livestock have been moved from the area in search of pasture and water, leaving family members who stayed behind with no source of food.

He urged that mechanisms be put in place urgently to determine the needs of vulnerable families.

In its October 2003 bulletin, the district early warning system noted that the nutritional status of children aged 1-5 years was on the decline in areas which depend entirely on cattle rearing, as the children were being fed only cereals due to declines in milk production.

The bulletin also reported an increase in distances trekked by women in search of water.

"Irrigation areas are also experiencing conflicts between farmers upstream and pastoralists downstream as the latter complain that very little water was being allowed downstream for livestock," said the bulletin.

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