Almost 100,000 people living in Pokot North Sub County, in West Pokot, are facing a food shortage as they plead the national government to supply relief food to the affected families. Residents have been forced to travel many kilometres to search for water and pasture.
Speaking at Kour sub location in Kacheliba constituency some of the residents said the lack of food has also affected school going children thus resulting in low retention in schools.
The residents added that they didn’t plant any crops during the short rains because the place is arid and germination is hampered.
“Many of our children don’t go to school because there is no food in school,” said John Kasei a resident.
Another resident Joan Lotulia said she was forced to migrate to a safer place after her livestock died due to the drought.
“The place is so dry, the national government should launch irrigation projects along the rivers to increase food production,” she said.
Kaptolomwo sub location chief William Doywapus said in the area, more than 2000 people are affected by hunger and they are in need of relief food.
“We rear livestock and we don’t have farms. The place is completely dry and we are worried if the drought persists we might lose some of them,” he said.
The area MP Mark Lomunokol said his constituency has been greatly affected by the prolonged drought and in the next two months the situation might worsen.
“The place has only one source of water, and all residents in the location depend on it. It’s an indication that residents need more boreholes to help mitigate the drought,” he said, “The Ministry of water and the national government should intervene.”
He said some of the areas affected are Ompolion, Kasei, Turkwel, Kiwawa, Kodich, Alale, Kasei, Takaiwa and Kodich.
He cautioned that if the situation persists it poses a great risk to people’s lives and livestock.
“Children are malnourished, the animals are already emaciated and the national government should put in short-term strategies to save the lives of people,” he said.
He cited that insecurity is also a contributing factor to the hunger situation the place citing that cattle rustling along the border of West Pokot and Turkana County hinders pastoralists from travelling to neighbouring Counties where there is adequate water and pasture.