Kenya: Drought - 2014-2018Ongoing
On 10 February the Government declared a national drought emergency, with 23 of 47 counties affected. The number of food insecure people more than doubled – from 1.3 million to 2.7 million. Some 357,285 children and pregnant and lactating mothers are acutely malnourished. The latest nutrition surveys showed that three sub-counties (Turkana North, North Hor (Marsabit), Mandera) had GAM rates above 30 per cent. Six sub-counties (Turkana Central, Turkana South, Turkana West, Laisamis, East Pokot (Baringo), Isiolo) had GAM rates between 15 and 29 per cent.
Maize production in the coastal areas decreased by 99 per cent compared to the long term average. People have to travel further to access water, for example in Baringo, household walk three times longer than normal. Pastoralist communities in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) counties are losing their livestock - with reports of large numbers of animal deaths in Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu and Mandera counties. Data collected by UNICEF from 10 affected counties indicated that close to 175,000 children were not attending early pre-primary and primary schools, primarily due to the drought’s impact. (OCHA, 17 Feb 2017)
More than 2.6 million Kenyans were severely food insecure as of 26 May 2017 — and this number was rapidly rising. High levels of malnutrition are prevalent across the arid and semi-arid lands. Three sub-counties report Global Acute Malnutrition rates of 30 per cent, double the emergency threshold. Severe drought has dried up water resources in half of Kenya’s 47 counties and an estimated 3 million people lack access to clean water. Recurrent droughts have destroyed livelihoods, triggered local conflicts over scare resources and eroded the ability of communities to cope. Families are on the move, which poses protection risks for women and children. More than 1.2 million children are in need of education assistance. Kenya is experiencing multiple disease outbreaks including cholera/Acute Watery Diarrhea and measles. An estimated 2.9 million people require lifesaving medical interventions and community-based primary health outreach. (OCHA, 26 May 2017)
The National Drought Management Authority’s (NDMA) early warning bulletin for June indicates that while the long rains have ended, many parts of the Arid and Semi-arid Lands (ASALs) are still experiencing long distances between home and water sources, unusually high food prices, and worrying levels of malnutrition. Being the third consecutive below-average rainfall season, the modest recovery conditions in some parts of ASALs are likely to be short-lived. Therefore, the upcoming dry season (June to September) will be a difficult one for the ASALs in terms of malnutrition and access to water and food, particularly for pastoral communities. Insecurity linked to resource-based conflicts has worsened, while Fall Armyworm and African Armyworm infestations continue to threaten crops in marginal agricultural counties, further worsening the prospects for the next harvest. (UNICEF, 19 Jun 2017)
The Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the worst hunger crises in recent times due to a prolonged drought. The current drought is worse in a number of ways than in 2011, with some areas experiencing the failure of three rains in a row. In Kenya, 2.6 million people are experiencing crisis levels of food insecurity. The number could increase to 3.5 million in need of targeted assistance by August. In parts of Marsabit and Turkana, where communities are unable to reach sustained humanitarian assistance, they are at risk of sliding in to emergency levels of hunger (IPC Phase 4), one step away from famine, between July and September.
The March–May rains have been below average and it is likely that the July food harvests will also be below average, leading to a corresponding decline in access to and consumption of food. In addition, the African armyworm infestation has already affected around 69,000 hectares of farming land, prices of basic food commodities, such as maize, in Kenya have soared with overall inflation for the month of May 2017 reaching a five-year high of 11.7 per cent, and livestock prices in pastoralist areas are low due to the poor condition of animals. As a result people are reducing what they eat, with many families eating one meal a day. Food shortages are further compounded by anxiety around upcoming general elections which may politicize the crisis, a lack of access to water due to non-operational water points, and high levels of severe acute malnutrition among children below the age of five. (OXFAM, 4 July 2017)
Following at least two consecutive poor rainy seasons, food security needs are expected to peak in October 2017 as food and income sources are below-average across the majority of pastoral and marginal agricultural areas. As a result, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected through early December in areas of Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Isiolo, Garissa, Tana River, Samburu, and Laikipia, requiring urgent humanitarian assistance. However, an improvement to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes is expected across all pastoral areas in early 2018; however, some of the most vulnerable households are still likely to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). (FEWS, 18 Nov 2017)
In Kenya, drought conditions that are expected to persist into 2018 have left 3.4 million people severely food insecure and an estimated 500,000 people without access to water. An estimated 482,882 children require treatment for acute malnutrition, including 104,614 who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Eighty-eight per cent of these children are from 23 arid and semi-arid counties. Drought conditions have led to declines in school attendance and school participation and rising dropout rates. (UNICEF, 4 Jan 2018)
A farmer with at least two acres of land can earn as much as three times more with chilli than with cattle
KITENGELA, Kenya, May 23 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In this arid stretch of Kajiado County, where worsening heat and drought have been tough on livestock farmers, Arnold Ole Kapurua is experimenting with a hot new crop: chillis.
Ole Kapurua, 29, a farmer and agronomist, now grows two acres of the fiery pods – and is training other farmers to do the same - as a way to protect their incomes in the face of harsher weather linked to climate change.
Record-high rainfall generally improving outcomes despite flooding impacts
Maimbo Malesu, Theme Leader, Water Management, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
For the past month Kenya has had torrential rainfall. This followed devastating droughts in parts of the country. The Conversation Africa’s Moina Spooner asked Maimbo Malesu how the country can make better use of the rains.
What is rainwater harvesting and how does it work?
Every year natural and man-made catastrophes cause a distressing loss of lives and considerable economic costs around the world. Both industrialised and developing countries are affected. Surprisingly, both are also materially underinsured.
This financing gap is borne largely by the public sector, and may create long-term fiscal instability at a time when government budgets are stretched. Furthermore rating agencies are starting to take a closer look at such contingent liabilities faced by public administrations.
People in need: A total of 2.55 million people require immediate food assistance from March to August 2018. Of this, 2.35 million people are in crisis and emergency drought classification, with 200,000 others in stress classification.
While parts of the country were still experiencing the impacts of drought, the torrential rains that commenced in March 2018 have further resulted in erosion of livelihoods thus affecting 29 Counties.
- 185,624: Number of refugees registered in Kakuma camp and Kalobeyei settlement as at 30 April 2018.
- 4,157: Number of new arrivals with heightened protection needs registered in 2018.
- 3,160: Number of Somali refugees assisted to return to Somalia since February 2016
Update on Achievements
by Maria Eliza Villarino
Over the last few years, CIAT, under the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security, or CCAFS, has been promoting climate-smart agriculture, a set of practices that can boost farming yields, while enabling farmers to adapt to climate change and, where appropriate, reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Developing climate-smart agriculture (CSA) profiles for countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America forms part of this effort.
Heavy rainfall and further flooding expected across East Africa through the end of May
Seasonal rainfall well above normal in East Africa; recent evidence suggests food security further deteriorates in South Sudan
ROME– Les agriculteurs vulnérables ont reçu un paiement d’assurance dans le cadre d'un système innovant de gestion des risques climatiques connu sous le nom de R4 Initiative de résilience rurale (R4), pour compenser les pertes liées à une faible pluviométrie en Ethiopie, Kenya, Malawi, Sénégal et Zambie. Les agriculteurs qui participent au R4 - lancé par le Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM) et Oxfam America en 2011 - recevront des paiements d'assurance, les plus importants à ce jour, totalisant 1,5 million de dollars.
ROME – Poor rainfall in parts of Africa has triggered the largest insurance pay-out to date for vulnerable farmers under an innovative climate risk management scheme known as the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative (R4). Farmers participating in R4 – launched by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Oxfam America in 2011 - will receive insurance payments totalling US$1.5 million to compensate for weather-related crop losses in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal and Zambia.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Abundant rains in March and April benefited establishment and development of 2018 “long-rains” crops and improved pasture conditions
Widespread floods resulting in displacement of about 244 000 individuals
Reduced cereal output obtained in 2017 due to unfavourable weather conditions
Prices of maize declining and generally at low levels, mostly due to sustained imports
As of January 2018, 2.35 million people severely food insecure, 30 percent less than in October 2017
16.3 million people in need of humanitarian services
8.2 million children in need of humanitarian services
667,948 children under-five in need of SAM treatment
14.8 million people are in need of water
At least 6.2 million children are at risk of dropping out of school
Over 582,000 people have been affected by the flash and river floodingin Bakool, Banadir, Bay, Hiraan, Lower Juba, Middle Juba and Middle Shabelle regions, including 200,000 people displaced.
NAIROBI, May 7, 2018 – In the North and North Eastern regions of Kenya, nearly 70% of residents live in poverty and have poor access to basic services. Frequent droughts pose a significant threat to livestock, the main source of food and income for nearly all of the people who live in this area. Socio-economic indicators fall significantly below the national average; for example, the female literacy rate is 41%, well below the national average of 89%.
Farmers who had never tasted fish are now raising tilapia and catfish for factories producing fish sausages, samosas and kebabs
ITUGURURU, Kenya, May 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Kenya's often parched Tharaka Nithi County might seem an unlikely place to take up fish farming. But farmer James Muchangi thinks tilapia and catfish might be his crop of the future as climate change brings more unpredictable weather and worsening crop failures.
Significantly above-average rainfall since the beginning of the Long Rains rainy season in March have led to flooding across the country. Between 244,000 and 260,000 people are estimated to have been displaced. Rains are expected to continue in the following weeks, meaning further flooding is likely and recovery will take time. Among the displaced population, there are needs for shelter, food, WASH, and health assistance.
Now "we will not be gambling with our livestock. We will be very sure where the pasture and water is and we will just head there"
By Anthony Langat
ARKAMANA, Kenya, May 7 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - During times of drought, herder Buchu Boru has to walk tens of kilometres in search of pasture for his animals - with no guarantee he will find it.
11,925 mt of food assistance distributed
US$5.8 m cash based transfers made
US$19.6 m six months (April- September 2018) net funding requirements
2.16 m people assisted in March 2018