11 counties on gov’t watch list over biting drought

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A Kenyan soldier from the Rapid Deployment Unit, an emergency response unit who were deployed due to reoccurring clashes and killings between Turkana and Dhaasanac communities, looks at a cow which is dying from hunger, a few hundred meters from the official boundary of the Kenya-Ethiopia border in northwestern Kenya October 13, 2013. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

Residents in more than 11 counties are facing starvation with the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) warning that the drought situation is reaching an alarming stage.

The affected counties include; Wajir, West Pokot, Turkana, Tharaka Nithi, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Samburu, Nyeri – Kieni, Narok, Meru North and Baringo.

The authority in its June report warned that the situation is worsening with pasture for livestock depleting with each passing day.

The body condition of livestock in the North Eastern part of Kenya is described as poor with Buna, Bute, Eldas and some parts of Wajir South and West most affected.

In Wajir, the authority says the available pasture is expected to last for a period of two weeks due to quick deterioration of pasture.

Across the 11 counties, water pans in all the livelihood zones are dry except for a few, which were recharged and are expected to last for less than a month due to intense livestock migration in search of water.

In some parts of Migori County, the speed at which water pans are drying up has left livestock keepers a worried lot. In Tana River county, severe vegetation deficit is being experienced in Bura and Galole.

However, according to NDMA all the three sub-counties of Bura, Galole and Garsen are experiencing drought, with the situation deteriorating.

According to the authority, most water pans and dams were at 11.1% of their capacity.

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Source: citizentv