Number of Kenyans in need of humanitarian aid to increase as drought persists
The number of Kenyans in need of humanitarian aid could increase this year, the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) has warned.
In a statement NDMA said the number of people considered to be in need of immediate humanitarian assistance increased by about 90% overall from 739,000 recorded in August 2020 to 1,425,000 in February 2021.
The 2020 National Food and Nutrition Security Assessment further indicates an overall worsened situation greatly influenced by the poor performance of the October to December rainfall season.
The situation has also been aggravated by other factors during the season including the COVID-19 pandemic, crop pests including the desert locusts’ invasion, food commodity price spikes, and livestock diseases.
Pastoralist counties like Turkana and Isiolo registered the highest increase. Other counties with a significantly higher number of people in Integrated Phase Classification 3 (IPC Phase 3) or worse were Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, and Marsabit.
The survey, conducted by the Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG) led by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), further indicates that Lamu, Kwale, and Kilifi in coastal marginal agriculture zones had the highest increase of people in IPC phase three, recording double the numbers that had been established under this category during the long rains assessment (LRA) in August 2020.
Other counties including Makueni, Kitui, Tharaka Nithi, Meru (Meru North) which had minimal people in need of immediate humanitarian assistance during the LRA have equally recorded significant numbers during this assessment,” reads part of the statement.
Given the above, the situation is expected to worsen towards August due to the relatively poor forecast of the long-rains season between March and May.
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