Threat of Drought and Famine in Kenya.
A recent report by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies highlights the continuing harsh and life threatening situation across much of Kenya.
'Like its neighbours in the horn of Africa, Kenya is experiencing extreme drought conditions and some 3.5 million people are facing severe hunger.
Following the failure of a third consecutive rainfall season in eastern and northern Kenya, most Arid- and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) are experiencing critical drought conditions. According to Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS Net), 3.5 million people are projected to be food insecure IPC (Integrated food security Phase Classification) and above, including over 360,000 people in IPC 4 (Emergency).
With rains, less than 60% of the 40-year average across most of Kenya, widespread livestock deaths, minimal livestock productivity, very low cropping levels, and sharp declines in purchasing power are creating large food consumption gaps and high levels of acute malnutrition.
The deterioration of food insecurity is attributed to multiple shocks, including dry spells from three consecutive poor seasonal rainfall performances (all below the five-year average), below-average crop and livestock production, localised resource-based conflict, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with this are a fuel crisis linked to the Ukraine war – which has been felt across Africa and the increase in fuel prices raises the price of all foodstuffs. Ukraine has also captured much of the world's attention and resources.
The current drought is already historic in its length and severity. Long-range forecast models are now predicting an elevated likelihood of yet another (the fifth) below average rain season for October – December “short rains”, setting the stage for an unprecedented five-season drought, which will further increase the severity and escalated food needs into 2023.
You can read the full report on the reliefweb.int website below.