Marsabit villagers mourn death of 100 camels

At least 100 camels died in Marsabit County near the Kenya-Ethiopia border after drinking contaminated water, plunging the entire village into mourning.

Dr Shanda Guyo, a veterinary officer said Tuesday that the camels drunk water from an abandoned well in El-Hadi, North Horr.

“We suspect that the water was heavily contaminated because the well was abandoned for over two months,” he said, in a telephone interview, adding that they had so far not suspected foul play.

A multiagency team comprising of veterinary and security officers were dispatched to the village which is about 300 kilometres away from Marsabit town to assess the situation, the officer said.

“They will samples of the water and specimen from the dead animals for analysis to ascertain the kind of chemical contained in the water,” Mr Guyo said.

The deaths left residents in the entire village grief stricken, because camels are a lifeline to to them, said Barille Abduba, executive director Frontier Alliance Party.

“The camel is so valued among the pastoralist communities that when it dies, people mourn. Some of them had just calved, with owners fearing that the calves would starve,” he said, adding that with each animal valued at over Sh120,000, the loss ran into millions of shillings.