Drought crisis, food insecurity could worsen in Kenya – IGAD


Drought crisis, food insecurity could worsen in Kenya - IGAD
A Kenyan soldier from the Rapid Deployment Unit, an emergency response unit who were deployed due to reoccurring clashes and killings between Turkana and Dhaasanac communities, looks at a cow which is dying from hunger, a few hundred meters from the official boundary of the Kenya-Ethiopia border in northwestern Kenya October 13, 2013. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

A drought crisis and food insecurity could worsen in the months of June through to October in Kenya.

A drought status report by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) indicates that there is a high risk of worsening food shortage in parts of Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda if rainfall deficits occur as predicted.

Governors from Laikipia, Kitui and Makueni Counties, which are currently ravaged by the present drought insist that the situation is worsening by the day.

“It’s not only shortage of food but also serious lack of water for people and livestock,” says Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu.

“It behooves upon us as governors who stay at the grassroots with the people to really alert the country that this is a crisis that we must prepare well together,” added Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana.

While the government has already released Ksh.1.8 billion to facilitate mitigation efforts IGAD says that while Kenya has one of the best drought mitigation frameworks globally, the country ironically still lacks proper coordination in face of acute water and food deficit.

“You can have the best systems in the world but if you are not coordinated , if those supposed to act do not do so then this is a recipe for altercations you had in Kenya,” says IGAD Executive Secretary Mahboub Maalim.

Food and agriculture organisation in conjunction with IGAD now want IGAD-member states to coordinate and act swiftly to cushion citizens in the months of June to end of the year where food insecurity is expected to be at its peak..

Some of IGAD’s proposals include release of drought related contingency funding, provision of nutrition supplies and support for vulnerable households, regular monitoring using remote sensing and strengthening programs to ensure peaceful livestock migration.

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