20,000 animals die in drought, more to perish in Kilifi county
‘When I first came to camp in this area because of water, I had 100 animals. Now as we speak, I have only 40 animals. My worry is that they may continue to die’
More than 20,000 livestock have died in drought-stricken Ganze and Kaloleni subcounties in Kilifi since July.
Hardest hit are Goshi, Jira, Maryango and Nzovuni in Ganze and parts of Kabatheni, Mwanamwinga, Viragoni and Tsangatsini in Kaloleni. More than 2,000 farmers have lost their only source of livelihood.
On Monday, herders in Goshi village urged the National Drought Management Authority to intervene.
Many farmers from the subcounties have migrated to the Giryama ranch in search of pasture and water.
Carcasses are scattered along the road from Karimani village to Goshi trading centre. At the Giriama ranch dam, carcasses of cows are spread all over.
Karisa Birya from Bamba said, “We no longer eat their meat. How many tonnes of meat will you eat since they die every day? I am sure every hour, one cow or two die. We have never seen this kind of drought.”
In the last two months, Birya has lost 60 cows. He walks 35km every day to the watering point.
“When I first came to camp in this area because of water, I had 100 animals. Now as we speak, I have only 40 animals. My worry is that they may continue to die if no measures are put in place by the government,” he said.
The Giriama dam was dug in 1975. It has never been desilted and is on the verge of drying up.
Joseph Charo from Mitsemerini, Bamba, said, “We are staring at a bigger disaster because this dam will not sustain us for a month unless it rains. If it dries up we shall have to take our animals to Galana in Malindi, which is more than 100km.”
Charo says he walks for 45km to bring his animals to water. He brought more than 300 animals to Goshi, but he has so far lost 200.
Charo said officers from the NDMA visted the region last month.
“They took photos of the water pan and recorded everything. Unfortunately, they visited very few villages and never returned to brief us on their findings,” he said.
Livestock farmer Karisa Charo from Bandari village said in two months, he has lost 56 goats and 55 cows.
“I came to this ranch in August with 300 goats and more 250 cows. It pains us because this is what we depend on but we have to watch them die. We are suffering and the government should come to our rescue,” he said.
Karisa Charo shows one of his cows that succumbed to drought at the Giriama Ranch water pan in Goshi village. More than 1,000 animals, mainly goats and cows, have died in Bamba since July/