By Joseph Muraya

Kenya will on Monday host a high-level five-day workshop to discuss feed and fodder shortage, and the adverse effects the crisis has caused- including a sharp increase in nutritious foods sourced from livestock.

We are all crying about the high cost of eggs and milk, which is a direct impact of the feed and fodder shortage crisis.

With the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, growing effects of climate change and the global COVID-19 pandemic, the situation is dire, unless mitigative researched-based measures are adopted. 

The consequences have been dire, particularly for the family units that form the backbone of these nations. And this is a story of many countries within the Horn of Africa region.

Families have lost their income after their livestock died due to severe drought. 

The Monday workshop by the African Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) is not only timely but crucial since it will come up with coordinated action to respond to feed and fodder shortages that have led to huge livestock losses.

The Horn of Africa region has lost more than 8 million livestock due to this crisis. 

The upcoming workshop must serve as a platform for collaboration, where experts, policymakers, and stakeholders convene to devise a unified action plan. 

Solutions that address the multifaceted challenges must be explored, encompassing sustainable feed and fodder practices, innovative technologies, and adaptive agricultural strategies.

A successful outcome can only be achieved through international solidarity and support. 

It is time for the international community to rally behind these nations, offering assistance, expertise, and resources to alleviate their burdens.

My challenge to President William Ruto is to ensure that national policies prioritize climate resilience, invest in research and development, and empower local communities to engage in sustainable livestock management practices. 

This crisis is a call to action, and it is essential that the Horn of Africa seizes this moment to build a brighter, more secure future for its people and their livelihoods.

The time to act is now, for the sake of families, communities, and the livelihoods of millions in Kenya, and the region.

Joseph Muraya is a seasoned Journalist and an accomplished communication consultant based in Nairobi, Kenya, specializing in climate change, security, and good governance.