The National Drought Management Authority is providing specially formulated livestock feed supplements to vulnerable communities to see them through the ongoing drought.
This was announced by Chairman of NDMA Board of Directors Mr Raphael Nzomo during a flag-off ceremony for trucks delivering animal feeds to drought-hit areas. Mr Nzomo was accompanied by Head of Agriculture, Job Creation & Resilience at the European Union Delegation to Kenya, Ms Myra Bernadi, during the joint event.
Drought, unlike other natural hazards, sets in slowly. We can, therefore, reasonably anticipate and plan for it. It is no longer excusable that year on year we still have the ÔÇÿsurprise effect at the onset of drought, Mr Nzomo said.
He observed that the drought situation had deteriorated in a number of arid and semi-arid counties due to the delayed start and poor performance of the March to May long rains.
Cumulative effects of the poor performance of the just-ended long rains and the 2018 short rains have affected the condition of pasture and browse in most ASAL counties, he said.
Specially formulated feed supplements
The Board Chairman noted that pastoralism being the mainstay of communities living in ASAL areas, absence of pasture and browse results in livestock emaciation, decline in milk production, and in some instances, loss of livestock. This, in turn, affects food and nutrition security at the household level.
The NDMA is, therefore, providing specially formulated livestock feed supplements to the vulnerable communities to see them through this difficult time, he said.
He thanked the European Union for supporting the NDMA and Kenya s wider drought risk management efforts since 2007. The EU has supported the Authority through different projects over the years and provided resources for drought response and implementation of strategic projects as identified and prioritised by communities.
Ms Bernardi noted that the EU has supported the Kenyan Government to institutionalise drought risk management through the NDMA since 2007 and its predecessor.
The EU has invested about KSh 8 billion in drought risk management in Kenya. Studies show that NDMA response to 2017 drought was more timely & saved many livestock and livelihoods, Ms Bernadi added.
Mr Nzomo announced that contingency funds provided by the European Union had enabled the NDMA to respond to drought since the beginning of the year.
“The NDMA has disbursed a total of KSh 218 million to Baringo, Garissa, Isiolo, Laikipia, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana, Wajir, and West Pokot counties to enhance animal health, maintenance of water facilities, fuel subsidies, water trucking, and peace-related activities, he added.
The two also flagged off eight vehicles that will support NDMA logistics in drought coordination and ease transport constraints. The total cost of the vehicles and a 12-seater boat for Lamu County is KSh 76 million, which constitutes EU contribution of KSh48 million and a Government of Kenya contribution of KSh 28 million through NDMA.
CEO Mr James Oduor acknowledged and appreciated the EU role in laying the foundation for the establishment of the NDMA as a permanent institution for drought management in Kenya and continued support of its operations over the years.