Drought fears hit Kilifi residents

Residents of Mariango and Mitangani village in Kilifi county carry their jerricans as they search for water. [File, Standard]
Locals of Bamba area in Ganze subcounty are staring at the worst drought in recent years after water pans and wells dried up.

The residents say that the situation has been complicated by the influx of pastoralists from Tana River County with cattle and wild animals from the Tsavo East national park's Dida forest.

Elizabeth Bahati from Bamba village said that the situation had become a security concern to them.

“We can no longer fetch water early in the morning and our children are at risk of attacks from marauding elephants and buffaloes,” she said yesterday.

The areas that are most affected include Mitangani, Mtsara wa Tsatsu, Bengoni and Biyubu villages while an acute water shortage has hit Bamba town.

County chief officer for Environment, natural resources and solid waste management Marriam Jenneby attributed the drought to prolonged human activities that included extensive deforestation and illegal charcoal burning.

She nonetheless said that her docket was focused on restoration of forest cover in the area.

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“We have started the process by engaging school children who will be our environment ambassador through planting seedlings,” she said.

 Bamba member of county assembly (MCA) Christopher Mwambire called for timely help and distribution of water and food to the affected people.

 Ganze MCA Teddy Mwambire clarified that 24 areas had been marked for the digging of water pans for rain water harvesting.

He also called on the controlled movement of pastoralists in the area so that the few remaining resources could be spent properly. 

“Apart from the domestic animals, wild animals have invaded our water pans and the water is drying up but as the local leadership we have set up adequate plans to address the situation,” he said.

Last year thousands of residents in Ganze appealed for relief food from well wishers to counter hunger.

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Ganze subcountyTana River CountyBamba areaTsavo EasMitanganiMtsara wa TsatsuBengoniBiyubu village