Kenya Food Security Outlook July – December 2012
The overall food insecure population is likely to increase from 2.2 million to at least 2.4 million people in August as the lean season intensifies. The Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG) will release the findings of the 2012 long rains assessments in September confirming the final number. Needs are expected to be high until mid- to late October during the dry period before the start of the 2012 October to December short rains, particularly in the southeastern and coastal marginal agricultural lowlands and in the southeastern pastoral areas.
The possibility of enhanced 2012 short rains due to the possibility of an El Niño is likely to impact positively on livelihoods in the agropastoral areas, pastoral areas, and the marginal agricultural lowlands. In the event that the El Niño enhances the short rains, they are expected to adequately recharge surface water sources, improve pasture and browse regeneration, and result in average to above average short rains crop production in the southeastern and coastal lowlands.
However, enhanced rains may result in the destruction of transport infrastructure which may hinder access to markets and delivery of humanitarian interventions, particularly in the pastoral areas between November and December. Flooding may also occur in flood-prone areas leading to displacements, loss of livelihood assets, and outbreaks of water- and vector-borne diseases. Meanwhile, the excess rain water during the harvesting season may lead to significant pre- and post-harvest maize crop losses in the key growing areas.