GARISSA (Xinhua) --
Humanitarian crises is looming in northeast
Kenya’s county of Garissa, which borders Somalia as thousands of
pastoralists’ families are hit by escalating drought that has
led to drying up of water sources and depletion of pasture.
have appealed to the government as well as the international
community to speedily intervene as escalating drought threatens
their lives and that of their livestock.
Most water points
have dried up forcing residents to heavily depend on inadequate
remaining wells, which have changed color and developed foul
smell due to contamination from the high number of animals and
people converging at them for survival.
Large population of
those stricken by the raging dry spell have to trek, in some
cases more than 30 km to find water for drinking and for
County, one of the areas hardest hit by the drought schools and
health facilities are on the verge of shut down with respective
administrators fearing keeping the children and patients could
pose more danger to their health.
residents interviewed, chances of water born diseases like
cholera spreading were high because of lack of clean water.
A spot check in some
of the areas showed that children in the drought affected areas
have already started showing signs of contraction of water borne
diseases such as diarrhea.
When Xinhua visited
the only water dam in Korisa location in Ijara sub-county in
Garissa, there was beehive of activities; local residents were
seen busy drawing the visibly contaminated water with pungent
smell and at some points compete with thirsty livestock and wild
animals are “fighting” with people over the access of the only
water source in this area. Residents were forced to take turns
day and night to keep way buffaloes from the dam, but now we
have given up because it’s extremely risky to ward off the
thirsty wild animals as they come in big numbers and take a
forcibly turn in drinking the water,” a resident Haret Nasteh
He said most
livestock moved deep into Boni forest saddled between Ijara and
Lamu as the drought situation worsen on daily basis in pursuit
of greener pasture.
“As you can see this
is our only water source. We, therefore urgently appeal to the
government and international community to come to our aid
urgently because if the situation is fast going out of hand,” he
According to Garissa
County’s National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), the dry
spell is at an alarming stage in the county noting that Ijara
sub-county is the hardest hit due to water points have dried up.
The authority said
unlike previous dry spell, which only affected families on
hinterland, the current drought also destabilized people living
around the river line areas. Cases of human-wildlife conflict
has surged up into alarming proportion, as thirsty wild animals
invade human settlement in bid to get water to consume.
administrator Mohamed Ahmed Dahir said the county government is
overstretched with overwhelming number of families requiring
water and food provision as it’s impossible to provide all
drought victims living different parts of the expansive county.
“We would like to
appeal to donors to intervene as the situation is getting out of
hands,” he added.