UN appeals for nearly $170 million to aid pastoralists in northern Kenya

A Turkana man herds livestock back from grazing grounds at the end of the day in the disputed area of the Ilemi triangle in northwestern Kenya near the borders with Ethiopia and South Sudan October 14, 2013. The Turkana are traditionally nomadic pastoralists, but they have seen the pasture that they need to feed their herds suffer from recurring droughts and many have turned to fishing. However, Lake Turkana is overfished, and scarcity of food and pastureland is fuelling long-standing conflict with Ethiopian indigenous Dhaasanac, who have seen grazing grounds squeezed by large-scale government agricultural schemes in southern Ethiopia. The Dhaasanac now venture ever deeper into Kenyan territory in search of fish and grass, clashing with neighbours. Fighting between the communities has a long history, but the conflict has become ever more fatal as automatic weapons from other regional conflicts seep into the area. While the Turkana region is short of basics like grass and ground-water, it contains other resources including oil reserves and massive, newly discovered underground aquifers. Picture taken October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola (KENYA - Tags: AGRICULTURE CIVIL UNREST SOCIETY POLITICS) ATTENTION EDITORS: PICTURE 20 OF 38 FOR PACKAGE 'FISHING AND FIREARMS ON LAKE TURKANA' TO FIND ALL IMAGES SEARCH 'TURKANA MODOLA' - RTX160YS

Mareeg.com-Half of the country is affected by the drought brought on by a third consecutive year of unreliable rains
WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, March 17, 2017-Mareeg.com-

Turkana women wait to get water from a borehole near Baragoy, Kenya February 14, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic – RTSYM80

The United Nations and its humanitarian partners today appealed for $166 million to aid Kenyan pastoralists and farmers whose livestock and crops are suffering amid what the Government declared a “national drought disaster.”
“With these funds, humanitarian actors will provide life-saving food, health, water and sanitation services to 2.6 million vulnerable Kenyans over the next ten months,” said Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya.
Half of the country is affected by the drought brought on by a third consecutive year of unreliable rains.
Below average rains are “causing thirst and hunger, decimating livestock, destroying livelihoods, spreading disease, and causing large movements of people,” according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The latest flash appeal is a complement to Kenya’s ongoing nine-month response plan which faces a funding gap of $108 million, OCHA said.
Earlier this month, OCHA’s head, Stephen O’Brien visited Kenya to highlight the risk of famine facing people there, as well as in Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.
Reporting his observations to the Security Council upon his return, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator said the international community is “facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the UN.”

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Mareeg senior news editor since 2001 and he can be reached at news@mareeg.com