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Roll out drought mitigation measures

EDITORIAL
By The Standard | January 16th 2017

The ravages of drought and hunger across many parts of the country can only get worse. Yet this is a situation that proper advance planning could have mitigated.

Planners in the ministries of Devolution, Agriculture, Water and Irrigation failed to take into account early warnings by the meteorological department that drought was imminent.

Even though it is not the first time the country finds itself in such a situation, it is left to imagination why the government has not allocated enough resources towards food security and initiated concrete measures to ensure the harvesting rain water when so much of it wasted during the rainy season.

What measures has the Government taken towards sinking boreholes in areas of Eastern and Northern Kenya where drought hits particularly hard?

Last week, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri said the Government would spend Sh9.2 billion on drought mitigation in three months but that comes a little late in the day because many have already succumbed to death.

In North Horr, Isiolo, four people are reported to have died from the pangs of hunger even as the local administration embarks on a food relief programme which, drawing from past experiences, could be skewed.

In the North Rift, there is likely to be fights over scarce water resources as pastoralist communities migrate in search of pasture and water for their animals. The situation in Kwale County, Tana River County and Tiaty, Baringo County is even worse as both water and food get scarce by the day.

While the current dire drought situation reminds us to protect our ecosystem by moving away from the current wanton destruction of forests and water towers, more time and resources need to be spent on projects that impact positively on the daily lives of Kenyans than on the current emphasis on politics that is more divisive than constructive.

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