Calls to end water conflicts

The Eastern Regional Co-ordinator (RC), Wycliffe Ogallo has called on communities fighting over water and pasture along the regions in the lower parts that border North Eastern region to look for lasting solutions to end the conflict.

He said the region’s security team will not allow loss of lives and destruction of property caused by the scramble for water and pasture among communities particularly pastoralists from Tana River County and Kitui County residents.

He said security had been heightened in the affected area to protect lives and property of residents, adding that challenges of water and pasture should not be used to spark tensions.

Speaking to the press in Embu town on Thursday, Ogallo called on the leadership in those areas to convene peace meetings to look for amicable lasting solutions to the conflicts.

This comes as the residents of Kitui County complain that pastoralists drive thousands of livestock to their farms in search of water and pasture thereby destroying crops each dry season.

The situation has sparked tension and bloody interactions between locals and the pastoralists.

Infightings between communities in the region over water and pasture during dry seasons has been common in the region especially along the Meru-Isiolo and the Kitui-Tana River borders.

We cannot allow loss of lives and property due to water challenges. These are issues that can be resolved amicably through talking to one another. Long lasting solutions also need to be found, he said.

The official noted that the region, particularly Makueni, Kitui, Isiolo and Marsabit have been hit by acute water and food shortage during this dry spell caused by erratic April and December rains and that the government had started relief food distribution programme to address the challenge.

The RC said the programme has been extended to schools to ensure that school going children do not drop out of school due to hunger.

He said water is also being distributed to areas where the situation is dire especially in the northern parts of the region.

Source: Kenya News Agency