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Shidiye contradicts report, says Garissa 'worst-hit' by drought

Monday October 17, 2016

Leaders from Garissa yesterday dismissed a government report that did not place the county among the worst hit by the ongoing drought and famine.

On Friday, Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri said about 1.3 million Kenyans are facing famine, following low rains this year.

The report said all the 23 ASAL counties are affected. The most hit counties included Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River and Taita Taveta.

Those not hard hit by the drought are Garissa, Mandera, Wajir, Isiolo, Marsabit, Makueni, Kitui and Samburu.

But addressing the press in Garissa town, Lagdera MP Mohamed Shidiye said that placing Garissa among the category of those not severely affected by drought, means that little help will come their way.

“It is very unfortunate the CS said that Garissa is not among the counties most affected by drought. We are telling him in no uncertain terms that our people have been hard hit and the sooner something is done, the better,” he said.

Shidiye said the county has also been experiencing human-wildlife conflict that resulted to the death of one person. "That was caused by acute water shortage. The situation has led to mass exodus of people from the village to towns,” he said.

He was referring to a case in which a herder, identified as Mohamed Diri from Galmagala, Fafi subcounty, was killed on Thursday last week by buffalos at a watering point.

Yakub Mogow was also seriously injured in the incident.

Shidiye, who was accompanied by several MCAs from his Lagdera constituency, said the CS was wrong to say that famine has not reached alarming levels.

He said the situation is bad, especially in the rural parts of the county.

Shidiye said people urgently need food, water and hay for their animals.

“The government should move in fast and help its people their hour of need. People are on the verge of dying. Animals are already dying,”he said.

Shidiye urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to declare drought a national disaster, saying that is the only way international donors and other aid agencies will come in and save the situation.

MP hopeful Mohamed Hire urged the government to come up with ong-term solutions to the perennial drought problem, such as constructing big dams to collect rainwater.

He said this might play a big role in mitigating such disasters in future.



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