Deterioration of food security expected to continue even after onset of the short rains
Even though ENSO neutral conditions are more likely now instead of a La Niña event, below-average October to December short rains are still expected in eastern and northern parts of Kenya, coupled with a likely erratic onset. As a result, the rains are likely to produce only modest improvements in household food security due to poor rangeland recovery and cropping conditions expected for the coming season, leading to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in most pastoral and marginal agricultural livelihood zones, and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in some localized, poor, pastoral livelihood zones.
In northeastern pastoral areas, especially parts of Garissa and Tana River, rangeland conditions and livestock productivity are atypically poor, even for the dry season, since these areas experienced substantial rainfall deficits of 25 to 50 percent of normal during the last long rains. As a result, poor households with substantial pasture, browse, and water deficits, and depleted incomes inhibiting effective market access are experiencing food gaps and moved to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity in September. These households are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity through at least January 2017.
In the coastal and southeastern marginal agricultural areas, the atypical decline in household income and food stocks have caused housholds to increase their search for non-farm labor opportunities since land preparation has not begun as it usually does in September. Intensified coping strategies, like migration to urban areas in search of labor and increased and unsustainable environmental degradation through charcoal production and sand harvesting, are enabling households to acquire income to support food market purchases. The majority of poor households are in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity and are likely to remain so through January 2017.