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» »Unlabelled » Severe Drought Continues to Plague Livestock Farmers in Kenya

Carcasses dot Kenya's northeastern province as the worst drought in decades continues to ravage the region. Villages are becoming deserted as nomadic herders seek pasture for their livestock.

Nomadic communities in the dry hamlet of northeastern Kenya are still trying to grapple with what humanitarian agencies is the worse drought in decades.

The communities of mainly herders have had their entire herds decimated and all water pans have dried up.

The United Nations, which recently declared famine in two regions in neighboring Somalia, says that herding communities in Kenya and Somalia have lost millions of their livestock.

At least three-and-a-half million people in Kenya alone will need food aid.

[Mohamed Hadji, Local Resident]:
"To say the truth, for the past six to seven years we have not had any rains here; the population then was around 6,000 to 7,000 but since the drought became serious, the population has drastically reduced and it is just the few of us remaining. The others have left and have gone to look for water and pastures elsewhere."

Years of drought, that have also affected Kenya and Ethiopia, have hit harvests and insecurity has made it extremely difficult for agencies to operate and access communities.

80 year-old grandmother Muslin Ibrahim lost her 300 goats in a month and six of her children left with the remaining ten to seek pastures close to the Somalia border.

[Muslin Ibrahin, Local Resident]:
"I just came to look for food, I do not have anyone to send. I know I'm not registered here but I'm just trying my luck. I have nothing to eat back home, I just need something little to eat."

Emergency feeding programs run by the Kenyan government and other other aid agencies have sprung up throughout the District but aid workers here say that the need is still outstripping demand.

Families are being encouraged to send their children to schools offering food to beat malnutrition that has spiraled in the recent months.

[Benjamin Makhokha, World Food Program Assistant]:
"It is like reached the worst level and community members here are like 100% relying on intervention by relief agencies; talk of WFP, ALDEF and Save the children who are working on this district. And we can say in case it goes beyond this, we might report deaths-if at all there will be no further intervention to cushion those who are not being reached."

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) on Wednesday said 11.3 million people were in need of food assistance - and not six million as previously thought - due to drought and famine in the Horn of Africa.

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