Monday, September 8, 2014

Reduced rains affect food security in Kenya via the UN World Food Program: Below average rains, increased food prices and conflicts, have contributed to a 15 percent increase in the number of people requiring food assistance. A Long Rains food security assessment recently released by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) estimates that 1.5 million people are acutely food insecure and will require immediate food assistance over the next six months (September 2014 - February 2015). This is almost double the 850,000 that were in need during the same period last year.

With the peak of the lean season yet to set in, and the next rains expected in mid-October, the food and nutrition security situation will likely worsen, prompting the need for urgent response. The poor rains resulted in below-average crop production and weak recovery of rangeland conditions.

In pastoral and agro pastoral areas, forage conditions were fair to poor with 70 percent to 80 percent of ground water sources reported to be exhausted. The current areas of concern include parts of Turkana, Marsabit, Wajir, Mandera, Samburu, Baringo and West Pokot. In the Arid areas the large majority of counties have general acute malnutrition (GAM) rates that are critical (>15%) or very critical (>
20%) and this is a significant deterioration compared to last year.

WFP is currently providing general food distributions (GFD) to 530,000 people in Kenya. That number will rise based on the current situation. WFP is also providing cash and food assistance to 700,000 vulnerable people in order for them to build assets at household and community levels which enhance their resilience to shocks. Support focuses on rainwater harvesting for crop and livestock production, rehabilitation of degraded land, and increased production of drought-tolerant and high value cash crops....

Yarey Abdi iIobe lives in Shabantaabaq village, without rain for two and a half years and about 80% of the cattle have died. The village population has almost doubled in recent months with an influx of families arriving in search of food and water: "My husband is old and he cannot eat the grains. We need something soft like milk but it is no longer available. Here are quite a number of families in the village who are malnourished. Without the aid we are getting we would be dead." Photo by Oxfam East Africa, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr,  under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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