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Diversify Sources Of Livelihood Or Perish, Pastoralists Advised

Kajiado prominent farmer Moses Parantai in his 400- acre ranch inIsinya on February 17.

Kajiado leaders are now urging local pastoralist communities to diversify their sources of livelihood so as to cope up with negative effects of climate change.

The county, in which 90 per cent of the local Maasai communities entirely rely on livestock for sustenance, is one on the semi-arid regions that has be devastated by on-going drought.

Governor Joseph Lenku, while commissioning a newly built dam in Iloodokilani on Saturday, asked pastoralists to diversify their sources of livelihood and not entirely depend on livestock, that are normally at high risk perishing during drought.

Lenku said his county has fully partnered with the national government to ensure that water resource reaches every corner of his drought-stricken region and people should now practice farming through irrigation.

Even as the governor spoke, prominent Kajiado farmer, Moses Parantai, told more than 50 farmers at his Isinya farm on Saturday to change from traditional livestock raring to modern farming.

Parantai, who specialises in raring Sahiwal breed of cows for beef market on his 400 acre ranchland near Isinya town, said on-going climate change has negatively affected the livelihoods of Kenyan pastoralists.

“This is not the Kajiado we used to cherish in our early years. Poverty is real and every homestead has one challenge or more for they are staring at hunger on the face, children cannot go to school because all the cows succumbed to the effects of drought,” Parantai told the farmers.

Sahiwal calves at Moses Parantai 400-acre ranch near Isinya town on February 17.

He said the community should get out of its cocoon and embrace other methods of survival such as poultry farming, milk production from graded cows and even vegetable farming.

The farmer has a herd of 120 cows, 300 dorper sheep and keeps more than 40, 000 poultry for Kenchic market chain.

“We the Maasai people have enough land but there is a missing link between the leadership and the common people. People should embrace modern methods farming. Why would have 50 cows that cannot even produced one litre of milk?” asked Parantai.

These are part of 18, 000 poultry at Moses Parantai’s farm in Isinya on Saturday February 17.

The farmer urged the Maasai to fence off their land parcels and keep herds that are economically sustainable.

Governor Lenku, while speaking in Iloodokilani, said the commissioned Lyarat dam has a capacity of holding 37,000 cubic metres.

“Lyarat area has suffered water scarcity for long and the cry of this community attracted our attention. I would like to urge all of you to take advantage of this dam to change your lives for the better,” said the governor.

The governor was accompanied by Kajiado West MP George Sunkuyia and county commissioner David Kipkemei.

“Availability of water is a panacea to this community through it our livestock are safe, youth and women can easily embark on other agribusiness ventures to earn living,” said the governor.
The governor assured the locals that contractors will fence off the dam with solar sourced electricity fence to protect it from cattle, elephants and other wildlife to avoid destruction.
The modern dam will have water troughs a distant away for easy management.

The modern dam will have water troughs a distant away for easy management.
“We are glad and indeed impressed that for years we can now see such development. Without water our children cannot get enough time in schools as women walk long distance to get water,” said a local.

A nearby school that had been going without ECD teachers was also considered, as two trained teachers identified by local leaders were given job on the spot. The governor also promised that KMQ dispensary that had been built but had no medical practitioner to be accorded a nurse immediately.

The presence of water dam will see close to three thousand families benefit from the project.

 

 

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