950 families benefit from camel restocking project


At least 950 households in Samburu have benefited from the camel restocking programme initiated by the county government. 

Lilian Lekadaa and Zeinab Ali from Samburu North constituency are among the beneficiaries of the project.

They were robbed of their livelihood between 2020-2022 when drought hit the region killing goats, sheep and cattle.

Lekadaa remembers with nostalgia the good old days when he had a young family with many animals. She could sell some of the animals and use the money to fend for her family.

But drought rendered her family destitute and they survived on handouts. Things worsened after her family grew from two to seven children, as there were many mouths to feed.

Lekadaa said she could only afford one meal a day and taking children to school became a luxury. She accumulated debts that were hard to repay.

She counts herself lucky after making it to the list of households selected to benefit from the county government camel restocking project.

“When I heard the county government was looking for families to support, I never thought a family like hers could attract their attention. Most donor programmes around here only support the well-to-do families," said Ali, Lekadaa's neighbour.

“I can still see the tears of joy in her eyes the day she received in calve camel from the county government,” she said.

“On that particular day, her hope and dignity were restored,” she said. Ali and Lekadaa are among 950 families in Ndoto and Ngiro wards in the Samburu North constituency who benefited from the program.

Samburu Governor Lati Lelelit said camels are the animals of choice for pastoralists in the arid and semi-arid regions.

“In addition, camels play a critical role in both livelihoods support and the socio-cultural lifestyle of pastoral communities,” Governor Lati said as he oversaw the distribution of the animals.

The camel restocking programme started soon after the governor came into office to mitigate the effects of the devastating drought that had ravaged families and wiped out livestock.

“The programme is part of the larger project aimed at saving lives of most vulnerable people affected by drought and insecurity by rebuilding their assets, developing livelihoods and addressing water crises,” said Lati.

Monica Lekuraki, a beneficiary hailed the initiative saying women who have received the camels will be able to sell milk and cater for their families.

“With money from camel milk, they will be able to afford three meals every day and clear some of their debts,” Lekurakli said.

Beneficiaries will also be held in high esteem because a camel is perceived high-value asset in the region.

Ndoto ward MCA Ali Lealmusia said the process of identifying beneficiaries was above board as it begins at the village level where elders and local leaders vet the families.

“We appreciate the initiative that has already seen 113 families in my ward receive camels,” he said.

Samburu County Executive Committee Member in charge of Agriculture and Livestock Patrick Lekimain advised beneficiaries not to sell the camels.

“The county government will monitor how the animals are doing and will offer veterinary services in case of any diseases,” he said.