Red Cross Launches Offtake Program to Mitigate Drought
By Haguye Guye
The Kenya Red cross society in conjunction with the National government have commenced a livestock off take program targeting to slaughter more than 1000 cows and goats to feed communities facing starvation in Tana River county.
The program is meant to distribute freely meat to communities stricken by hunger.
Kenya Red cross Tana River branch coordinator Mr. Jared Bombe said already some 525 cows have so far been slaughtered and distributed to affected residents in the region.
Speaking to The COAST Media Mr. Bombe said the aim of the program is to alleviate losses incurred by pastrolists who are facing serious drought.
“We are not only providing food for the hunger but by purchasing weak animals for food” He said.
However, he said the program is facing numerous challenges ranging from transport that makes it hard to access the affected households to frequent migration of communities from their homestead in search of pastures and water.
According to Bombe, more than 100, 000 people are facing dire need of relief food with most affected areas being Wayu, Woldena, Bangale, Assa, Kone and parts of Bura constituency where animals are threatened due of lack of water.
Early this month the secretary general for Kenya Red cross Asha Mohamed expressed concern about how the drought has pushed families into suffering.
She called on well-wishers to help raise resources to save the affected families in the country.
Meanwhile National irrigation Authority has a plan to expand the Multi million shillings Bura and Hola Irrigation schemes in Tana River county as an effort to combat shortage of food currently affecting Kenyans.
NIA management board says they have considered to develop the two projects to enhance agricultural productivity to fight hunger.
Speaking in Hola during a courtesy call at the county commissioner’s office in Hola the board chairman engineer Joshua Toro said NIA is ready to provide it’s land for expansion of Hola township but wants a structural formula where potential investors are involved in production of food and creation of employment to youth.
Eng.Toro who was accompanied by his team together with Kenya national chamber of commerce and industry second vice president Mrs. Fatma Almaawy said they consultated with the government and other partners to see ways how the 20,000 ha will be put into use to develop the region.
On her part Chamber vice president Fatma Almaawy appealed to the residents to look for potential investors who can process their produce locally instead of depending on foreign investors.
“We are not in dispute with anybody in releasing part of our land but what we want is a structural way where we can absorb investors to put the land into meaningful utility” He said
At the same time the authority has agreed to use gravity system to get water from the Tana river to supply to the farms instead of using the old system of generator run which was found to be costly.
On encroachment claims Eng.Toro warned those who have settled within the NIA land saying they are illegally occupying the land hence called on the office of the county commissioner to help them to prevent trace pass to their land.
Last year Galole mp Said Hirbae presented a petition to the parliament for NIA to provide part of the land to residents of his constituency for expansion of Hola township.