Worsening drought, hunger put over 2.5m at risk of starvation

HUNGER

Residents of Kakwanyang in Turkana County queue to get relief food on March 27, 2019, as hunger bites. PHOTO | PETER WARUTUMO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By Correspondent

More than 2.5 million Kenyans are facing starvation as drought and food security situation in the country continues to deteriorate, says National Drought Management Authority (NDMA).

The agency, in its latest report, has said that the number of people currently facing acute food shortage stands at 2.6 million people, an increase from the estimated 1.6 million people as at May 2019 during the mid-season assessment.

Those in need of relief assistance has more than doubled from 1.1 million in February 2019, the report shows, with a warning that the figures could rise to above three million people by October.

Populations in the arid and semi-arid land (ASAL) areas are either facing a food crisis or an emergency situation, the report said.

The most affected counties are Turkana, Mandera, Baringo, Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit and Tana River, whose residents are predominantly herders. Others are Kitui, Makueni, Kilifi and Meru North, which are in the marginal agricultural and agro-pastoral regions.

“This means that households in these counties have moderate to large food consumption gaps and above usual acute malnutrition as a result of the prevailing drought or are only marginally able to meet minimum food needs by depleting essential assets or employing crisis and emergency coping strategies,” reads the report.

NDMA also warned that the number of households in dire need of food has been rising steadily since August 2018 with the situation worsening in July this year.

The assessment, the Acute Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), was conducted between June 1 and 19, this year in 23 ASAL counties including Turkana, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Lamu, Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Kitui and Makueni.

Others are Embu (Mbeere), Nyeri (Kieni), Meru North, West Pokot, Baringo, Kajiado, Narok, Marsabit, Laikipia, Tharaka Nithi, Samburu and Isiolo.

“The analysis indicates that drought and food security situation has worsened across most parts of the country, especially in view of the poor performance of the previous season (October to December 2018),” the report states.

According to NDMA, the current situation has been caused by a below-average, delayed start and poor performance of the long rains season of between March and May, especially in pastoral and marginal agricultural areas.

This has caused a low recharge of surface water sources such as water pans, shallow wells and dams with most sources holding less than 50 percent of their capacities.

“This may last only up to the end of August in pastoral areas and September in the marginal and agro-pastoral areas compared to October normally.”

The report further highlighted that prices of staple foods has increased in the affected counties from about 10 to 40 percent between April and July.

This is attributed to a decrease in supplies as stocks held by various actors locally declined following below-average 2018 short rains harvests and reduced imports from Tanzania and Uganda.

The former occasioned by a long dry spell experienced in April after planting in late March.

There was also the attack by fall armyworms on maize reported in an estimated five percent of cropped area in Narok, Laikipia, Taita Taveta, Lamu and West Pokot counties.

“The armyworm infestation, coupled with poor rainfall performance and limited ability of poor households to procure control chemicals, is likely to lead to significantly below-average harvests in these areas,” stated the report.

However, the Authority said the government has set up a Drought Command Centre and developed a comprehensive drought response plan covering the whole country as state agencies continue to monitor how the October-December rainfall season will perform.

In April 2019, the National Treasury approved the supplementary allocation of Sh1.85 billion for response during the January to April 2019 period.



16 Comments

  • Great blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or
    go for a paid option? There are so many choices out
    there that I’m completely confused .. Any tips?
    Cheers!

  • What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious familiarity
    on the topic of unpredicted emotions.

  • Very nice article. I absolutely appreciate this website.

    Keep writing!

  • Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking a few
    minutes and actual effort to make a top notch article… but what can I say… I procrastinate
    a lot and never seem to get anything done.

  • Do you have any video of that? I’d like to find out
    some additional information.

  • I all the time used to read piece of writing in news papers but now as I am a user of net therefore from now I am using net for articles or reviews, thanks to web.

  • I read this post completely on the topic of the resemblance of
    newest and preceding technologies, it’s amazing article.

  • I have to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this website.
    I’m hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as
    well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own website now 😉

  • It’s impressive that you are getting thoughts
    from this paragraph as well as from our dialogue made here.

  • It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this fantastic blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to brand new updates and will share this blog with my Facebook group.
    Talk soon!

  • What’s up, just wanted to say, I liked this article. It was helpful.
    Keep on posting!

  • Amazing issues here. I am very glad to see your article.
    Thanks a lot and I’m having a look forward to contact you.
    Will you kindly drop me a mail?

  • I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet users, its really really good article on building up new webpage.

  • Greetings! I’ve been reading your web site for a long time now
    and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a
    shout out from New Caney Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent work!

  • Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this site.

    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to get that “perfect balance”
    between superb usability and appearance. I must say you’ve done
    a amazing job with this. Also, the blog loads super quick for me on Internet explorer.
    Superb Blog!

  • Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would
    be ok. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new
    posts.

Leave a Reply

Latest news