STARVATION

3.5 million Kenyans face acute hunger — NDMA

Say the biting drought has persisted in 17 out of 23 counties

In Summary
  • The NDMA said the situation is alarming in eight counties of Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Samburu, Isiolo, Baringo, Turkana and Laikipia.
  • The report shows the vegetation condition in April was worse as compared to the same period last year.
The carcass of a cow lay by the roadside. Drought has claimed hundreds of livestock.
DROUGHT WORSENS: The carcass of a cow lay by the roadside. Drought has claimed hundreds of livestock.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

The number of people in need of relief food has risen from 3.1 million in February to 3.5 million, the drought authority has said.

The National Drought Management Authority on Thursday said the biting drought has persisted in 17 out of 23 counties.

“This is attributed to the poor performance of the 2021 short rains coupled with the previous two failed consecutive seasons and the late-onset of the 2022 long rains season,” the authority said.

The NDMA said the situation is alarming in eight counties of Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Samburu, Isiolo, Baringo, Turkana and Laikipia.

Nine counties including Garissa, Kilifi, Kitui, Kwale, Tana River, Lamu, Meru (North), Nyeri (Kieni) and West Pokot are in alert drought phase.

Five counties including Kajiado, Narok, Makueni, Taita Taveta, and Embu (Mbeere) are in normal drought phase. Tharaka Nithi is in recovery phase.

NDMA said most of the counties received between 10-50 per cent of normal rain, except Makueni, Kajiado, Narok, Baringo, West Pokot, Kwale, Marsabit and Mandera, which received between 50-75 per cent of normal rains.

The rains were poorly distributed in duration and geography.

The report also shows pastures have deteriorated since March due to the late onset of long season rains.

“The month of April showed deterioration in vegetation across the ASALs compared to the previous month of March," it said.

Areas like Rabai, Kilifi South, Laikipia North, Mandera East and Samburu East are in extreme vegetation deficit, hence in need of humanitarian assistance.

Mandera, Kwale, Isiolo, Marsabit, Laikipia, Samburu and Wajir are in severe vegetation deficit, NDMA said.

Six counties including Baringo, Garissa, Kitui, Kilifi, Tana River, and West Pokot are in moderate vegetation deficit hence need close monitoring and response plans.

Kajiado, Makueni, Meru, Taita Taveta, Tharaka Nithi and Turkana recorded normal vegetation greenness, while four counties including Embu, Lamu, Nyeri and Narok recorded above normal vegetation greenness.

The report shows the vegetation condition in April was worse compared to the same period last year.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

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