The Star (Kenya)

Garissa faces severe water crisis as drought worsens

Water pans have dried up and many boreholes have broken down

- STEPHEN ASTARIKO @ estarkenya

The drought situation in Garissa could leave the county in a severe water crisis.

e problem is worsening by the day in Balambala, Fafi, Lagdera, Dadaab, Ijara and Hulugho. e water available cannot sustain residents and livestock.

In its January report, the National Drought Management Authority said water sources were being depleted following failed October-november-december rains.

Water executive Abdi Omar yesterday toured Bahuri in Dadaab, Abdisamat, Shimbirey and Shentabaca­ad in Balambala to assess the situation. He acknowledg­ed the growing concentrat­ion of both human and livestock on the remaining water points.

Omar said several boreholes have broken down following overuse prompted by high demand. eir pumps were operating round-theclock to cater for the increased number of human and livestock population.

He urged users’ associatio­n committees to liaise with subcounty water engineers to fix the mechanical problems. Omar said that several water pans and dams have also dried up.

He announced that the county government, in partnershi­p with non-state actors, has sunk 86 boreholes in the six subcountie­s as mitigation measures against the drought.

Omar said depending on the need, more boreholes would be drilled to cater to rising demands but also appealed for assistance from other well-wishers.

“As a county, we are doing all that is humanly possible to ensure we save the lives of our people and their livestock.

“We are, however, calling on the national and other developmen­t partners to provide support because alone, we cannot manage,” he said.

He said they are trucking water in areas with no permanent supply.

Last week, Governor Ali Korane, regretting that the drought had become a cyclic problem, said his administra­tion was committed to ensuring livestock farmers incur minimum losses by providing them with water and feed.

“In places where we don’t have boreholes, our teams will be on the ground to do water trucking because we all know that water is life and without it, the consequenc­es are dire. But even as we do this, we continue to appeal for assistance,” Korane said.

 ?? /STEPHEN ASTARIKO ?? Garissa Water CEC Abdi Omar (in blue jeans) and residents during his tour to assess water situation in Shmbirey, Balambala subcounty
/STEPHEN ASTARIKO Garissa Water CEC Abdi Omar (in blue jeans) and residents during his tour to assess water situation in Shmbirey, Balambala subcounty
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