Garissa Governor Nathif Jama has disclosed the master plan he intends to implement to curb the drought crisis in the county.
Governor Jama noted that he already identified a potential which he says will be given priority in his 5-tenure at the helm of the county.
Jama said that he intends to put in place interventions for dry land farming to grow food and fodder for the people and livestock respectively, and in return boost the region’s economy.
“Other than the plans within my manifesto in my development plans to uplift the local economy so a big initiative that of course I am bound to embark on. First of all is to ensure that we have sub-county county economic interventions beyond that for the rural parts of the county we have big ideas for dry land farming, irrigation farming so that we can create livelihood schemes so that we can be having big chunks of land where we can grow both food and fodder for our people,” he said.
Governor Jama further called on donors to join the bandwagon and provide additional resources including funding, which he said will be instrumental in achieving his objective.
He intimated that the budgetary allocation from the National Treasury will only allow him to achieve a few milestones as it might not be sufficient to fully extinguish the drought crisis.
“We request our donors to come forward and work with us because whatever idea we might have we can only sustain them to the extents that our budgets will allow but where we believe we can be getting some support is in the bigger budget institutions who indeed have budgets for long term interventions. We are available, we have ideas but without the necessary investment then we will not do much,” noted Jama.
Jama’s comments lies on the backdrop of a warning issued by the Kenya Metrological Department that there will be a failed rain season in October-December 2022, which will in effect make the drought situation worse.
Already 4.35 million people are in dire need of food, a number that is likely to rise in the coming months.
With the drought situation taking the form of a vicious annual cycle, weather and drought experts are calling for an overhaul of the drought response mechanisms.
The Kenya Red Cross Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Venant Ndinghila, speaking on Tuesday, said the current emergency interventions are no longer economically sustainable.
The ongoing drought, the worst in 40 years, has affected 23 counties; out of which 10 are under the alarm drought phase.
“There’s very serious malnutrition for children under 5…at least 940,000 children under 5 years old are facing malnutrition,” said Venant.
Kenya is among the three countries in the Horn of Africa facing the worst drought in decades occasioned by the below average rainfall going into its fifth season.