NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 28 – A report by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) shows that 2.6 million Kenyans are currently facing starvation with the number set to rise to 3 million in the next three months.
According to the study, those affected are spread across 11 counties with the Authority pointing out that the hunger situation is expected to get worse.
“This was a further increase from 1.1 million people that had been identified in February 2019 after the short rains assessment. From this trend, this number is estimated to rise to above 3 million people in the next three months by October 2019,” the report stated.
The report pointed out that a third failed rain season would however exacerbate the food insecurity situation further.
It stated that most of these populations are in Turkana, Mandera, Baringo Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit and Tana River in the predominant pastoral livelihoods and Kitui, Makueni, Kilifi, Meru North mainly dependent on marginal agricultural and agro-pastoral livelihoods.
The report stated that the government has set up a Drought Command Centre and developed a comprehensive drought response plan covering the whole country as State agencies continue to monitor how the October-December rainfall season will perform.
It stated that the national and county governments, with the support of development partners, have taken various drought response measures.
It further stated that the government-coordinated drought response planning through its elaborate institutional arrangement that includes the National Development and Implementation Coordination Cabinet Committee, the National Technical Development and Implementation Coordination Cabinet Committee and the Intergovernmental Committee on Drought and Food Security.
“These structures mobilized funding towards drought response interventions recommended by the sectors and county governments. At the county level, the County Steering Groups provided direction on priority interventions and resource mobilization towards drought preparedness and response activities.”
The government, through the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) implemented by NDMA, made bi-monthly transfers of Sh5,400 to Sh97,770 most vulnerable beneficiary households in Wajir, Turkana, Mandera and Marsabit.
A total of Sh2.2 billion was disbursed between January and June 2019.
A further Sh395.3 million was paid as emergency cash transfers to 38,014 additional drought vulnerable households in Wajir, Mandera, Turkana and Marsabit Counties to enable them to meet their basic food needs and to cushion against depletion of their livelihood assets.