Residents face starvation due to poor rains

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At least 60 per cent of Merti Sub county population is in need of food due to insufficient rains, National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) has said.

NDMA Isiolo coordinator Lordman Lekalkuli said a food security assessment found out that food insecurity in agro-pastoral areas is expected to deteriorate in the next two months due to poor rains.

In pastoral areas, the situation is expected to be worse in a month’s time. The food assessment was conducted early this month.

According to the 2009 census, Merti has a population of 22,000 people.

Mr Lekalkuli, however, said the situation was quite stable compared to previous seasons.

“Generally, the food situation is expected to remain stable,” he said.

Mr Lekalkuli also noted pastoralists from Merti are now migrating to other areas in search of water and pastures for their livestock.

Other affected areas are Oldonyiro, Sericho, Garba Tulla and Kinna where 50 per cent of the population requires food.

Food security in Isiolo central has slightly improved since only 20 per cent of its population requires food.

Due to the improvement, the group has recommended that the number of residents receiving relief food from the government be reduced by 10 per cent.

Earlier, 45,000 people were benefiting from the general food distribution programme.