Wednesday March 8 2017
Four people have been confirmed dead in Marsabit with dozens of children malnourished as drought continues to wreak havoc in the county.
More than 70 children were found malnourished in El Hadi, North Horr sub-county as a result of hunger.
Speaking to the Nation, Balesaro assistant chief Gufu Orge said four people had been reported dead.
“They died due to the drought,” said Mr Orge.
Mr Kevin Wafula, a nurse at El Hadi dispensary, said cases of diarrhoea and malnutrition were on the rise.
“The people we are treating cut across all ages. Many expect children and elderly people to be the most vulnerable, but even middle-aged men and women get malnourished,” said Mr Wafula.
LOW BLOOD SUGAR
On Tuesday, a woman, 50, was admitted for the third time with malnutrition and low blood sugar, conditions caused by hunger and lack of a balanced diet.
The nurse said the woman gave her children all the food, leaving herself malnourished. The matter has been compounded by lack of supplements for children, lactating mothers and the elderly.
“Last week, we screened children and found 70 cases of malnutrition but we can do nothing unless they find help or we send them to other hospitals where they will get the supplements,” added Mr Wafula.
The health worker has had to refer locals, with the nearest available ambulance being 47km away at Dukana or Balesa.
The drought continues to take a heavy toll on livestock. At Balareso, 60-year-old Adano Dalacha lost two thirds of his herd to the drought.
He had been grazing away from his home at Elbeso and, by the time he got to Baleraso – more than 50km away – 20 cattle out of 30 were dead.
“I trekked this long in search of pasture, but I ended up losing more of my cattle. I am thankful that I have at least 10 and hoping that they all survive although it is hard,” said the father of five.
The assistant chief, however, said that at Baleraso, most people not only lost their cattle to the drought but also to raids by their Ethiopian neighbours.
Mr Orge said: “At the beginning of this year, our neighbours raided our village and stole our livestock.
“The small numbers of livestock left were swept away by the drought. Those who left in search of pasture have returned without livestock too.”
He added that women were leaving children unattended as they went to search for water and food.
“Our women trek up to 7km daily in search of water points,” said Mr Orge, adding: “Most donkeys have died, leaving them