County announces measures to counter looming drought
The government has put in place contingency measures to deal with imminent drought in Kwale County.
The region which was ravaged by drought last year, is experiencing normal conditions but indications are that drought may strike soon, according to the National Drought Management Authority.
Speaking at the authority’s Kwale office, the County Drought Coordinator Mr. Roman Sherah said they were closely monitoring the situation on the ground so that appropriate interventions can be taken when and if drought strikes.
“We have already sat with the relevant stake holders and come up with a drought contingency plan which spells out the intervention measures to be undertaken if need be,” said Mr. Sherah.
He added that they will work together with the county government to ensure that people in drought-prone areas are assisted appropriately.
The interventions envisaged include among others distribution of relief food jointly by the national and county government and water supply to areas likely to be affected by drought.
Schools will also benefit under the relief programme to ensure learning continues uninterrupted.
“No students will have to stay at home as the programme will ensure that affected schools will also get food,” the official said.
Livestock owners will also not be left behind since pasture and water will be provided.
To avoid massive death of livestock, the government plans to undertake an off-take initiative under which it will buy the animals to cushion the farmers.
At the same time, Mr. Sherah cautioned local farmers against over-stocking since it becomes a burden to them during drought leading to losses through animal deaths.
He also stressed the need to adopt good farming methods including early land preparation in order to plant on time during the anticipated long rain season.
He saidfarmers who were able to plant during the short rains realized relatively good harvest.
By Gladys Ndunda and James Muchai