National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) has warned that more than 2.5 million Kenyans risk acute food shortage even as the drought and food security in the country worsens, this is an increase from the estimated 1.6 million people recorded at May.
The agency noted that the drought situation in the country will worsen unless adequate mitigation measures are taken by the Government, the numbers are projected to rise to above three million people by October.
Some of the sectors likely to be affected include; food, livestock, water health and nutrition, education, peace, and security.
The most affected counties are; Turkana, Mandera, Garissa, Wajir, Marsabit, Baringo, Tana River, Kitui, Makueni, Kilifi, Embu (Mbeere), Nyeri (Kieni), Meru North, West Pokot, Kajiado, Narok, Laikipia, Tharaka Nithi, Samburu and Isiolo.
“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,” the report noted.
Increased drought in the country has been attributed to a delayed start and poor performance of the long rains season of between March and May, especially in the 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,” the report added.
The affected counties also experienced increased prices of staple foods from about 10 to 40 percent between April and July
Increased prices of food were attributed to a decrease in supplies as stocks which declined following below-average 2018 short rains harvests and reduced imports from Tanzania and Uganda.
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