Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kenya government acts too late on drought

Maore Ithula in the Standard (Kenya): Relief organisations and leaders of drought-prone communities have hit out at the Government for 'slow' response. Whereas harsh weather is predictable, the stakeholders noted, the State only steps in when it’s too late to safe lives.

During the meeting convened by the Special Programmes and State Development of Northern Kenya and Arid Lands ministries, blame game took the centre stage regarding intervention measures taken by the Government to cushion pastoralists from the effects of climate change. Mr Michael Tiampati of Pastoral Development Network Kenya pointed out that, whereas droughts hit the country with predictable sequence, the State sits back until it is too late.

He said: "The effects of droughts are gradual and predictable. In fact the Meteorology Department always issues warnings based on weather forecasts many months in advance but nothing is done in time." He continued: "Distributing foodstuffs to starving people is not enough because by the point of starvation, livelihoods are already done away with by the ravaging droughts. It takes several years for affected people to recover after every ravaging drought."…

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