NINE COUNTIES AFFECTED

Nearly 2.4 million people are facing drought — report

17 counties are the most affected and are in the alert drought phase

In Summary

•Baringo and West-Pokot are in a normal drought phase while Garissa, Isiolo, Kilifi, Lamu, Mandera, Turkana, Kwale and Tharaka-Nithi are at an alarm phase.

•Cyrus Oguna, the government spokesperson said since October, Sh2.4 billion has been provided for drought intervention.

Livestock in a field at Segera in Laikipia North subcounty.
Livestock in a field at Segera in Laikipia North subcounty.
Image: ELIUD WAITHAKA

Nearly 2.4 million people are facing drought, with nine counties hardest hit.

Nyeri, Embu, Laikipia, Kajiado, Makueni, Meru, Narok, Samburu and Taita Taveta are the most affected and are in the alert drought phase.

This is according to the December national drought status bulletin released on Monday by the National Drought Management Authority.  

The Integrated Phase Classification shows nearly 2.4 million people need food.

This is nearly three times (852,000) the number of people who were facing high acute food insecurity from October to December last year.

Baringo and West Pokot are in a normal drought phase, while Garissa, Isiolo, Kilifi, Lamu, Mandera, Turkana, Kwale and Tharaka Nithi are at an alarm phase.

The report shows during the month under review, Tana River reported an improving trend. Five counties — West Pokot, Makueni, Kitui, Wajir and Marsabit — recorded a stable trend.

James Oduor, NDMA chief executive, said 17 counties reported a worsening trend.

They are Kajiado, Meru, Narok, Samburu, Taita Taveta, Embu, Laikipia, Nyeri, Isiolo, Lamu, Mandera, Turkana, Kilifi, Garissa, Tharaka Nithi, Kwale and Baringo 

“The deteriorating display is due to poor rains during this short rains season. The rains received during the first week of December have not positively impacted the drought situation across ASAL counties,” he said.

Cyrus Oguna, the government spokesperson, said since October, Sh2.4 billion has been provided for drought intervention.

He said the interventions include cash transfer, water trucking and livestock offtake.

“The unique thing about the livestock programme is that the government will buy each animal at Sh15,000 and the meat will be given back to the community as part of the drought intervention,” Oguna said.

The drought update report indicated that dry weather conditions were experienced over several parts of the ASALs during November.

“However, occasional rainfall was experienced over northern Wajir and Mandera. Isolated storms were recorded over the Southeastern lowlands of Makueni and Kilifi,” the report showed.

The Kenya Meteorological Department forecast showed several parts of the ASALs are likely to experience below-average rainfall this month.

They are Turkana, Marsabit, West Pokot, Baringo, Laikipia, Meru, Samburu, Isiolo, Wajir, Mandera and Garissa.

“The Southeastern and Coastal counties are however likely to receive near to below-average rainfall as depicted. They are Kajiado, Narok, Embu, Tharaka Nithi, Kitui, Makueni, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Lamu, Kilifi and Kwale,” Met said.

NDMA recommended the provision of food assistance and the scaling up of cash transfers targeting households that are currently food insecure. 

It recommended for the provision of livestock feeds, supplements, treatment and vaccination against emerging livestock diseases.

The report called for water trucking interventions, rehabilitation and maintenance of water facilities.

This is in addition to provision for supplies to address acute, food to subsidise school fees in boarding secondary schools, coordination of peace and security activities in conflict-prone counties.

Edited by Kiilu Damaris

A woman and her child wait to get cash from the Hunger and Safety Net programme being implemented by National Drought Management Authority at Turbi in Marsabit.
A woman and her child wait to get cash from the Hunger and Safety Net programme being implemented by National Drought Management Authority at Turbi in Marsabit.
Image: ALPHONCE GARI