Kenya drought leaves 2.4 million at risk of hunger by November: WFP - Capital Business
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

This picture released by FAO (The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)shows Turkana farmer Joseph Tirkwel asses the severe damage of his maize crops while hopper bands of Desert Locust ravage them in Napeikar, Turkana County, Kenya on June 2, 2020.Joseph Tirkwel is Turkana farmer and father of 6 children with several acres of maize that have been severely damaged by hopper bands.An increasing number of second-generation immature swarms of desert locust continue to form in northwest Kenya. The desert locust upsurge could have devastating consequences in already vulnerable regions, potentially causing large-scale crop damage and threatening food security in countries affected by recurrent drought, conflict, high food prices, as well as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.The Horn of Africa is facing the worst desert locust crisis in over 25 years, and the most serious in 70 years for Kenya. - "The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of Kenya’s (GoK) have joined efforts as part of its action plan aimed at boosting ground and aerial surveillance on Desert Locusts. FAO has supported governments in scaling up control activities on the fight against Desert Locusts while launching an urgent appeal to support and contain the upsurge and anticipate devastating impacts on livelihoods and food security." (Photo by LUIS TATO / FAO / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "LUIS TATO/FAO/AFP " - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS


Kenya drought leaves 2.4 million at risk of hunger by November: WFP

NairobiKenya, October 2 –  At least 2.4 million people in Kenya risk going hungry by November as drought ravages the north and east of the country, a nearly threefold increase from last year, the World Food Programme warned Friday.

The East African country has been hit by an accumulation of calamities in recent years, including a months-long locust invasion from December 2019 and poor rainfall in 2020 and 2021, which has left the arid northern and eastern regions facing an emergency.

President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the drought a natural disaster last month, with 2.1 million people already grappling with hunger, according to the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA).

The WFP’s alarming projection is nearly three times the figure recorded last year between October and December, when 852,000 people were facing severe food insecurity, the UN agency said.

“This drought comes right on the back of Covid-19 which has had a tremendous economic impact on livelihoods. It comes on the back of locusts and, in some areas, floods,” WFP representative and country director Lauren Landis told AFP.

“We’re desperately worried that the next short (rainy) season coming in October will also fail and that means then we’re going to be in (an) extremely dire situation,” she said.

“I fear we’re going to reach the level of 2017, our last big drought here in Kenya. I think we’re looking at 2.5 million people in the coming months that will be affected.”

East Africa endured a harrowing drought in 2017 which also brought neighbouring Somalia to the brink of famine.

Experts say extreme weather events are happening with increased frequency and intensity due to climate change.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

– Malnourished children –


The drought in Kenya has already left vulnerable populations reeling, the WFP said, with over 465,200 children under five and more than 93,300 pregnant and breastfeeding women suffering from acute malnutrition.

The Kenyan government announced earlier this month that it had allocated two billion shillings ($18 million, 15.5 million euros) to support an emergency response, with an emphasis on providing clean drinking water to residents of Kenya’s 23 worst-hit counties.

“Experts are telling us signs are showing we might not get good rains, so we are preparing for the long haul,” said Eugene Wamalwa, the minister in charge of decentralisation.

The Council of Governors, which brings together the leaders of the country’s 47 counties, said they had set aside 1.34 billion shillings to fund emergency operations.

The authorities have also dispatched 14 trucks of food for livestock, the main source of income in the affected regions.

The food and water shortages have severely affected the ability to farm crops and rear cattle, raising the risk of conflict as people compete for access to land and essential supplies.


– Human-animal conflict –


Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

As conditions have worsened, several instances of violence have been reported, with pastoralists clashing over access to increasingly scarce water points.

Human-animal conflict has also increased. In mid-August, two elephants escaped from a reserve and entered the town of Isiolo in central Kenya, where they injured a man who tried to chase them away.

According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, the elephants left the reserve in search of water and food.

“Drought brings together a conflict for resources. Everyone is searching for water, everyone is searching for feed for livestock, farmers are trying to still grow crops, all doing it with limited resources,” said Landis.

“We’ve already seen (violence) in many places in Kenya and I sense it will only get worse.”

The WFP has appealed for $139 million (120 million euros) in fresh funding to tackle the humanitarian crisis, with only $28 million raised so far.

“That’s simply for getting us through to the next rainy season. Should that rainy season fail, the needs will be even higher,” Landis warned.

“We’ve really reached the breaking point.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

More on Capital Business


DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, Sep 14 – The World Food Programme (WFP) is supporting 26,000 vulnerable farmers to access irrigation water for agricultural and...


TURKANA, Kenya, April 11 – Drought conditions being experienced in Turkana county will continue, with vegetation and livestock conditions deteriorating. The county is at...


Former tobacco farmers in Migori tobacco are continuing to reap the benefits from bean farming after the World Food Programme (WFP) provided a ready...


NAIROBI, March 21 (Xinhua) — Kenya’s drought victims are expected to rise to 3.5 million people by the end of May based on the...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – The World Food Programme (WFP)has estimated that about 13 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are facing severe...


NAIROBI, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) — The United Nations (UN) on Friday launched an appeal for 139.5 million U.S. dollars to deliver humanitarian assistance to...


NAIROBI, Kenya Sept 23 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is seeking USD 40.4 million in order to avert food crisis in...


JUBA, South Sudan, Sept. 8 – The World Food Programme (WFP) said Tuesday it has secured 5.9 million U.S. dollars to support humanitarian air...