ACT Alliance Alert: Drought Emergency Response in Kenya

News and Press Release
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1. Brief description of the emergency and impact

Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, declared on 9th February 2017 the on-going drought in Kenya as being a national disaster. The drought has affected 23 out of 47 counties that are all in a state of emergency1. The drought situation in Kenya is predicted to last until July 2017. The late start of rains, between the months of October and November, which were unusually brief and inadequate2, is the immediate cause of the current drought. The drought has had devastating affects causing persistent and widespread deficit of water, food and vegetation for livestock and humans.

The numbers of affected population currently stands at 2.7 million people as of February, 20173. Most affected persons are from pastoral communities residing in Arid and Semi-Arid Northern Kenya counties. Already, livestock mortality rates are at 5%4. The drought has also affected crop producing regions with a predicted crop failure in coming months. Kenya Red Cross says 2.7 million people face starvation if more help is not provided5.

2. Why is an ACT response needed?

An ACT response is needed as government and other stakeholder’s drought response funding are facing significant shortfalls compounded by the fact that the numbers of those affected by the drought continue to rise. This response will help alleviate human suffering, prevent the decline of local sources of livelihoods and promote the right to education by supporting school retention.

3. National and international response

ACT response will aim to support and supplement efforts by National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), Kenya Red cross, UN agencies and other development partners who are responding with food assistance, cash transfers, water trucking, repair of boreholes, and provision of livestock feeds among other emergency interventions.

County governments are responding to the emergency in collaboration with County NDMA offices to rehabilitate boreholes, position standby gen-sets, conduct water trucking and provide fuel subsidies under response activities within water sector. Similar emergency response interventions are done by county governments in Education, Health & Nutrition, Livestock and coordination.

Despite Kenya’s government initiative to put aside USD 106,169,920 to respond to drought, the government has gone on to call all stakeholders to increase support to drought mitigation measures which has not only affected human beings and livestock but also wild animals.