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Daily Nation : February 6th 2014
18 | THE COUNTIES Thirsty residents block road to demand water from motorists Turkana South residents stage protest to bring their plight to the attention of the nation BY NATION TEAM firstname.lastname@example.org tale highway demanding water from motorists. They were not violent, but T their demonstration disrupted business for the better part of the morning. The region has borne the brunt of the drought ravaging various parts of the country. Police said the protesters, who blocked the road at Nakabosan market, wanted to bring their plight to the attention of the motorists and the country at large. “After blocking the road, vil- lagers asked motorists... to give them bottled water,” area police chief Kipsang Changach told the Nation. One of the protesters said it was not fair that relief food was passing them on its way to Lodwar National Cereals and Produce Board depot. He claimed that it would take a long time before arrangements were made to have the relief distributed to them. The man asked the govern- ment to drill water at Lotikipi, where large quantities of underground water were discovered last year. The villagers dispersed after police intervened to restore order on the road. Turkana County is reeling under biting hunger and thirst after water sources dried up due to drought. A number of people have reportedly succumbed to the hunger while others are said to be feeding on dog meat. Livestock, their mainstay, is also at risk of death. Water, Irrigation and Agricul- ture County Executive Beatrice Askul yesterday said 95 per cent of water sources in the county had dried up since the dry spell set in in July last year. “The current dry spell has hit REACTION Taita-Taveta county boss appeals for relief “The current dry spell has hit recharge systems because short rains were not experienced. Water table is, therefore, extremely low” Turkana County Water Executive Beatrice Askul “After blocking the road, villagers asked motorists... to give them bottled water Turkana South police chief Kipsang Changach. “We have requested the Ministry of Devolution to supply us with the stocks to save our people from losing lives” Taita-Taveta Governor John Mruttu. “Thousands of our people are starving and have turned to wild fruits for survival” Ribkwo/Kositei Ward Representative Daniel Tuwit FILE | NATION A child quenches his thirst at a shallow well in Loima sub-county last year. Residents of Nakabosan in Turkana South yesterday paralysed transport to demand water from motorists. recharge systems because short rains were inadequate. Water table is, therefore, extremely low,” she said. However, she blamed locals for the current crisis, saying they had failed to take care of the boreholes drilled by the county government. Most of the water pumps have been vandalised and are out of use. Ms Askul flagged off a tanker from Lodwar Water and Sanitation Company to provide water to the protesting villagers as a short term measure as the county leadership sought a lasting solution to the crisis. The protests came as Lod- war residents waited anxiously to benefit from the water being drilled at Napuu aquifer. The boreholes will be launched today, according to Davis and Shirtliff engineers working on the project. Meanwhile, hundreds of Tur- kana herdsmen have crossed into Uganda and Ethiopia in search of pasture and water, sparking fears of fresh clashes among pastoralists from the three countries. Turkana sub-county police boss Jonathan Ngala said the drought had forced pastoralists in Oropoi and Loima to migrate. Turkana leaders yesterday appealed for dialogue among the herding communities to avoid disputes over water and pasture. Involve elders “Clashes cannot be ruled out unless herders from the three countries agree on sharing pasture,” said Turkana North MP Christopher Nakuleu. He said elders representing Turkana pastoralists and those from Uganda and Ethiopia should be involved in the talks. At the Coast, more than 80,000 people are in need of relief food in Taita-Taveta County. Governor John Mruttu and local leaders yesterday appealed for food after receiving a report of a county steering committee that assessed the situation. Mr Mruttu said the region needed 1,611 tonnes of cereals, and 314 and 117 of pulses and vegetable oil, respectively. “We have requested the Min- istry of Devolution to supply us with the stocks to save our people from losing lives,” he said. The situation is bound to worsen in the coming weeks. The Meteorological Depart- ment recently said the dry season ravaging the country would continue until next month. In Baringo County, livestock prices are on a free-fall due to drought. A spot check by the Nation in several livestock markets yesterday showed that animals, which are the mainstay of the local economy, were emaciated. At Ng’inyang’ livestock market in Tiaty sub-county, for instance, a cow that used to sell at Sh30,000 in November last year is now going for Sh10,000. The price of a goat has fallen from Sh5,000 to Sh2,000 over the same period. Ribkwo/Kositei County Rep Daniel Tuwit said the situation has been worsened by the drying up of major rivers like Chemakany, Lewlew and Ng’inyang. “Thousands of our people are starving and have turned to wild fruits for survival,” Mr Tuwit told the Nation. He said the elderly and chil- dren bore the brunt of hunger because they cannot walk long distances in search of wild fruits, which are also becoming scarce. Three elderly people are said to have died of hunger in the county, and local leaders led by Governor Benjamin Cheboi have appealed for relief food. By Sammy Lutta, Jonathan Manyindo, Wycliff Kipsang and Barnabas Bii hirsty residents of Turkana South yesterday paralysed transport on Lodwar-Ki- DAILY NATION Thursday February 6, 2014 NTIMAMA DENIES ROLE IN SALE OF COUNCIL HOUSES There was no decision to dispose of the Woodley properties, says former Cabinet minister P.25 TURKANA | Livestock prices on a free-fall in Baringo as farmers seek to avoid losses caused by drought BRIEFLY KIAMBU MP accepts Kabogo’s apology, calls for unity Thika Town MP Alice Ng’ang’a yesterday said she has accepted an apology from Kiambu Governor William Kabogo and pledged to work together with the county chief. The governor has come under fire for saying that unmarried women over 35 years should not vie for any seat. Yesterday, Ms Ng’ang’a said although the governor’s remarks “pierced her heart”, she was ready to work with Mr Kabogo for the sake of the electorate. The governor bowed to public pressure and apologised on Tuesday. NYERI Trailer with explosives rolls into a ditch An explosives-laden trailer landed in a ditch on the KaratinaMarwa road in Nyeri yesterday. It was in a convoy hired by the British Army to take the explosives to Nanyuki. Residents flocked to the scene thinking it was a beer truck but they were kept at a safe distance by the General Service Unit men escorting the 15 trailers. The rest of the convoy stopped briefly at Kiganjo and then proceeded to Laikipia. This was the second accident for the convoy from Mombasa. MERU MPs asked to resolve region’s border row MPs have been asked to re- solve the boundary row between Isiolo and Meru. Meru governor Peter Munya lamented over the slow pace at which the county’s dispute with neighbouring Isiolo was being addressed. Speaking after meeting with the Parliamentary Committee on Lands and Natural Resources, he said that the process needs to be speeded up to avoid more conflict and fast track the development of both counties. The team was led by Tharaka MP Mbui Muiru. NAKURU Blood service agency seeks global standard The National Blood Service is seeking international accreditation for all its centres. Blood centre director Margaret Oduor said in Nakuru yesterday that staff will receive intense 12-month training in preparation for the accreditation. The training is ongoing in Nakuru and will enhance their ability to provide safe blood. So far none of the six blood centres have secured globally recognized transfusion standard. These are Eldoret, Embu, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nakuru and Nairobi.
February 5th 2014
February 7th 2014