Garissa faces severe water crisis as drought worsens

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The drought situation in Garissa could leave the county in a severe water crisis.

The problem is worsening by the day in Balambala, Fafi, Lagdera, Dadaab, Ijara and Hulugho. The water available cannot sustain residents and livestock.

In its January report, the National Drought Management Authority said water sources were being depleted following failed October-November-December rains.

On Sunday, Water executive Abdi Omar toured Bahuri in Dadaab, Abdisamat, Shimbirey and Shentabacaad in Balambala to assess the situation. He acknowledged the growing concentration of both human and livestock on the remaining water points.

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Omar said several boreholes have broken down following overuse prompted by high demand. Their pumps were operating round-the-clock to cater for the increased number of human and livestock population.

He urged users’ association committees to liaise with subcounty water engineers to fix the mechanical problems. Omar said that several water pans and dams have also dried up.DROUGHT: Camels in Abdimsamit area, Balambala, Garissa on Sunday.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

He announced that the county government, in partnership with non-state actors, has sunk 86 boreholes in the six subcounties as mitigation measures against the drought.

Omar said depending on the need, more boreholes would be drilled to cater to rising demands but also appealed for assistance from other well-wishers.

“As a county, we are doing all that is humanly possible to ensure we save the lives of our people and their livestock. We are, however, calling on the national and other development partners to provide support because alone, we cannot manage,” he said.

He said they are trucking water in areas with no permanent supply.

Last week, Governor Ali Korane, regretting that the drought had become a cyclic problem, said his administration was committed to ensuring livestock farmers incur minimum losses by providing them with water and feed.

“In places where we don’t have boreholes, our teams will be on the ground to do water trucking because we all know that water is life and without it, the consequences are dire. But even as we do this, we continue to appeal for assistance,” Korane said.

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