Pastoralists in Isiolo County now have a major reason to smile following a move by the national government through the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) to launch a livestock feeds donation exercise to cushion them against massive losses as animals continue to bear the brunt of the persistent drought in the region.
Speaking at the County offices after launching the more than Kshs 20 Million programme, Isiolo County Commissioner George Natembeya said that the initiative will target the weak animals that are on the verge of dying. He said that the programme has been actualized through funding from the European Union in partnership with the national government and the County government, adding that the feeds supply will be disbursed consistently until the drought situation improves following the highly anticipated short rains.
Mr Natembeya said that the Kenya Defence Forces will distribute the feeds to all the affected areas hence there will be no hitches in terms of transport logistics to any area within the vast county.
He said that the planned livestock off-take programme that entails buying of the emaciated animals and slaughtering them for the farmers to feed on will now be suspended since some parts of the county had already received some rainfall however little, even leading to an influx of pastoralists from the neighbouring arid counties in search of pasture and water.
The National Drought Management Authority County Cordinator Lordman Lekalkuli said that Isiolo County was one of the 23 Counties that have been hit hard by drought, hence the move by the authority to intervene and put the situation under control. He lauded the European Union and both the national and County governments for their swift financial response to ensure that the programme becomes a success.
Mr Lekalkuli said that the consignment consists of 15 Metric tonnes of urea, molasses mineral blocks and range cubes, also known as pellets, adding that the Kenya Defence Forces had already availed a truck that will be used to transport the feeds for the duration of time that the authority will require its services.