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’

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties - ELIAS YAA @yaa­juma (+)

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.

ELIAS YAA

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/

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