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A herdsman walks his camel in search of water towards the town of Kargi, Marsabit county (October 2021). A herdsman walks his camel in search of water towards the town of Kargi, Marsabit county (October 2021). 

Kenya: Drought situation in Marsabit worsening, Bishop Kihara says.

Bishop Kihara of the Catholic Diocese of Marsabit says that the situation in the whole county of Marsabit is dire. There is no food and no water in the area.

Cisa -Marsabit, Kenya.

In a recent interview with CISA, Bishop Peter Kihara, I.M.C, observed that the drought situation has been brought about by reduced rainfall for the seasons of November 2020 and April to May of 2021.

The economy depends on livestock

 “This is the third round, and you can imagine what a great disaster there is for our people who are ordinarily pastoralists and depend on it for their livelihood, for the economy since for anything they need to do, livestock is the source of income,” he said.

“When there is no water, and there is no grass, what do you do? You get stuck. Now they are being encouraged to sell the animals instead of letting them die so that at least they can get the money and save something. Otherwise, if the livestock die, they are lost,” Bishop Kihara added.

Ethnic tensions have worsened the situation

The prelate also pointed out that the humanitarian situation in the county has been worsened by the ongoing ethnic clashes in the area.

“When we intervened as a diocese in early August, there were people who had become internal refugees because of tribalism. Their houses were burnt and brought down, so they had to look for other places or even tents, and some were hosted by others,” he said.

A humanitarian crisis unfolding

According to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “the cumulative impact of two consecutive poor rainy seasons, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, insecurity, pests and diseases have caused humanitarian needs to rapidly rise in the Arid and Semi-Arad Lands (ASAL) region of Kenya.”

The report approximates that there are at least 2.1 million people who are severely food insecure. In addition, food insecurity is expected to worsen in the period ahead based on the likelihood of poor rains during the upcoming short rainy season of October to December.

             

             

27 October 2021, 15:25