Tackle ravaging drought with more seriousness


Herder Yusuf Abdullahi walks past the carcasses of his forty goats that died of hunger in Dertu, Wajir County, Kenya Sunday, October 24, 2021. [AP Photo, Brian Inganga]

The drought in northern Kenya is increasingly making life difficult as pastoralist communities continue to lose their animals.

Wildlife has not been spared either and concerned Kenyans have been sharing photographs of dead game on social media platforms in a bid to highlight the dire situation.

President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the drought a national disaster on September 8, 2021. Consequently, he directed the National Treasury to disburse Sh2 billion to mitigate the situation.

The directive notwithstanding, leaders from the region claim there is no evidence of it being implemented. Members of Parliament under the auspices of the Pastoralist Parliamentary Group are making pleas for food and water for their suffering constituents.

It is sad that politicians who should be at the forefront of marshalling resources to help Kenyans facing starvation have abdicated that responsibility.

Their focus, and that of the government, seems to be more on campaigns for next years’ General Election.

Some very influential leaders from the affected areas prefer to visit other parts of the country to campaign instead of putting their heads together to find solutions to the perennial problem of drought, food and water shortages.

Coming only days after the 26th Conference of Parties on Climate Change, a lot is expected from this years’ governors’ conference in Makueni County. Apparently, the theme of the Makueni conference is “Multi–level governance for climate change action.”

This should not just be a catchy subject to while away time as governors compare notes. The need for the Council of Governors to find long-term solutions to the drought conundrum cannot be gainsaid.

In the meantime, both tiers of government should ensure no human life is lost due to the severe drought.

This is the time Kenyans need their government the most, and it should not disappoint them in their hour of need.

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