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Pastoralist MPs demand immediate action to save people and animals

By Jacob Ng’etich | November 15th 2021

The Pastoralist Parliamentary Group (PPG) has demanded quick response to drought situation in the Northern Frontier counties.

The MPs expect to meet with government representatives from relevant ministries to push for the release of funds to combat drought, and say further delay will be messy.

The North Eastern MPs have suppressed their political differences and made a unanimous appeal to the government, saying following warnings from Kenya Meteorological Department, indicating likelihood of rains’ delay, the situation needs immediate action. 

The leaders briefed journalists in Nairobi after a joint meeting, led by their patron and Garissa Township MP Adan Duale. “We are asking the government to upscale (funding) and save the dire situation... We request a joint statement from National Treasury and Planning; Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizen Affairs and Special Programmes CSs on the total number of boreholes, water pans and small dams constructed to address the worsening water situation in Northern Kenya,” said Duale. 

The group’s chairperson Alois Lentoimaga said given that most North Eastern residents did not have banks and could not easily access the funds, “...in the interim the government can supply them with animal feed, as we wait for the cash”. 

He asked for a report that states how many people were supported through cash in the drought affected counties, and appealed to NGOs to come to their aid.

Eldas MP Adan Keynan said the moment the government declared drought a national disaster, action on the ground should have followed immediately.

He said because of the declaration, certain bureaucracies should have been relaxed.

“The situation on the ground is so bad. There is a livestock population that has been affected. We do know that government has allocated a huge amount of resources through different agencies to address that particular issue and we are appealing to those agencies to fast track this and ensure the issue is addressed immediately,” he said.

Keynan added: “If there’s a food supply, if they reach a water target, if... some of the particular mills that are concerned with this, we ask them to either move to the ground because right now what we have is not resonating with what has been allocated. We are deeply concerned.

He said they had also agreed that they would have a meeting with all concerned agencies and ministries such as Treasury, Water and Defence because of the Kenya Meat Commission, to make the situation better.

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