Buy live­stock be­fore they die – pas­toral­ists

‘The sit­u­a­tion has got out of hand and the state doesn’t seem to be both­ered’

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Northeastern - STEPHEN ASTARIKO @TheS­tarKenya

The gov­ern­ment has been asked to ur­gently buy live­stock from pas­toral­ists in drought-stricken re­gions in North­east­ern through the Live­stock Off-take Pro­gramme.

Speak­ing to the press in Garissa town yes­ter­day after at­tend­ing a funds drive, Lagdera MP Mo­hamed Shidiye said the gov­ern­ment last month had promised to start buy­ing an­i­mals from the herders through the Kenya Meat Com­mis­sion, but to date, noth­ing has hap­pened.

He said hun­dreds of ema­ci­ated an­i­mals have al­ready died. “If some­thing is not done ur­gently, the few re­main­ing cat­tle will also die. The gov­ern­ment needs to walk the talk and do what it promised. This will at least re­duce the mas­sive losses the pas­toral­ists would have in­curred in the event all the an­i­mals died,” Shidiye said.

He said hun­dreds of pas­toral­ists whose an­i­mals have died are sink­ing into poverty be­cause the live­stock were their only liveli­hood.

Shidiye said most res­i­dents face star­va­tion. On Satur­day, one per­son was killed and an­other se­ri­ously in­jured after a fight for wa­ter. “The sit­u­a­tion has got out of hand and the gov­ern­ment does not seem to be both­ered about the suf­fer­ing of its peo­ple,” Shidiye said.

/ FILE

Pas­toral­ists from Lagdera con­sti­tituency on Septem­ber 19

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