The government to pay drought-hit pastoralists starting this week

BY JOHN  WERU,NAIROBI,5TH MARCH 2017-A Cash payouts  program to support pastoralists to purchase fodder and animal feeds for their stock until the drought comes to an end is set to be launched this week.

The payments under the Kenya Livestock Insurance Programme will target 12,604 registered pastoralist households in the seven counties. 2,503 pastoralists in Turkana that are registered under the program were paid last month.

pastoralists  at livestock selling point in northern kenya/FILE


State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu made the announcement on Sunday when he said the government will enhance the measures to mitigate the drought affecting 23 counties.

Vulnerable pastoralists in Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Tana River, Turkana and Wajir counties will benefit from the Ksh215 million payout.

He said water trucking in the 23 affected counties has been enhanced and the government has rehabilitated boreholes experiencing pressure due to long hours of pumping water.

Mr Esipisu, who briefed the Press at Sagana State Lodge, also cited the animal off-take programme where the government is buying off animals and slaughtering them for the pastoralists. The aim of the off-take project is to put capital in the pocket of the pastoralists so that they can restock when the drought ends.

“As I had mentioned last week, in terms of provision of food, the administration has doubled up food rations to feed 3 million people, up from an initial figure of 1.3 million Kenyans. We are doing this through special programmes,” said Mr Esipisu.

At the same time, the State House Spokesperson said there has been a tremendous improvement in the security of Baringo and Marakwet after the Government launched security operations in the region.

Mr Esipisu said there have been no incidents in Laikipia besides the one where a lodge was torched by herders reportedly in retaliation for tough police action.

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