FAO calls on international community to mitigate drought situation in Africa

NAIROBI— Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol has expressed concern over the ravaging drought in pastoralist inhabited areas of Northern Kenya and called on the international community to urgently make interventions to mitigate the situation.

Speaking during a tour of Moyale Sub-county in Marsabit County where the organization is implementing a capacity-building project for farmers in a bid to make them resilient to the harsh climatic conditions, Bechdol was shocked by the state of affairs and called for a joint effort to reverse the trend.

She pointed out that the challenges faced by the pastoralist communities were unacceptable which called for new ways to address the situation to be devised as opposed to just availing resources.

The director-general who was accompanied by the Chief Administrative Secretary for Devolution Abdul Bahari and the UN country representative Stephen Jackson expressed concern that the situation was getting out of hand with the pastoralists getting overwhelmed.

She said that effectively addressing the climate change-driven challenges required renewed methodologies and a collaborative approach to the problem by all actors.

In his remarks, a similarly stunned Jackson noted that the drought situation was out of the ordinary with virtually all livestock farmers losing livestock which is their main source of livelihood.

He said that the government both at the county and national level had done much of what was expected but the condition was now more dire amidst scarce resources hence the need to pull resources to avert loss of lives.

Jackson added that interventions by UN-affiliated bodies like FAO, WFP and UNICEF as well as other organizations had managed to fund half of the appeals made hence the urgent need to revise the assistance upwards.

He cautioned that unless prompt measures are taken, the possibility of starvation and loss of lives was inevitable.

FAO is currently providing vulnerable households in the Adeso area of Moyale with enriched animal feeds with each beneficiary receiving 150 kilograms of pellets. Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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