Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal 2002: Kenya Donor Alert

Two years after a devastating drought, Kenya is moving out of the emergency phase and into recovery. Food security prospects in many parts of the country (pastoral and agro-pastoral areas) are improving. Pockets of communities continue to suffer from the stress of the drought, namely Turkana, Mandera, northern Marsabit and parts of Laikipia districts. These areas will require 75% food rations until at least September 2002. On a more positive note, many of those who had been receiving emergency humanitarian assistance are in the process of undertaking recovery activities. As of June 2002, depending on the long rains (March-June) the number of beneficiaries requiring food aid is expected to drop by approximately 50%.

In the non-food sectors, i.e. Health & Nutrition, Agriculture, Environment, Education, Livestock, Water & Sanitation agencies continue to work in the drought-affected areas to help mitigate the effects of the drought.

This year's focus is mainly in the recovery phase regarding the drought situation, improving assets and coping mechanisms. The general food distribution will support the most vulnerable, as the sector moves to Food-for-Work (FFW) programmes. The programme will aim at improving the food security situation in some parts of the country.

The main goal for the Health Sector will be to improve care practices and management of common diseases, Human Immuno-deficiency Virus / Acquired Immune-deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) awareness and reduction of malnutrition rates. The Agricultural Sector will focus on improving farming methodologies while the livestock sector will aim at improving pasture and animal health conditions. As for the Education Sector, the priority will be to improve the school attendance and to minimise the girls' drop-out rate. The main concerns for the Water, Sanitation and Environment sector will be to secure water access for the population and to avoid land and soil degradation. From the coordination point of view, this year the scope will be more broad-based other than an initial focus on the drought situation only. Apart from drought-related issues, which the Programme will continue to cover, any occurrence of disaster natural or man-made including conflict, population displacements and human rights will be addressed.

Improved relations between the Kenyan Government and the donor community are a pre-requisite to the resumption of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) funding (such as the passing of the Anti-corruption Bill).

The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) was finalised last year and will be implemented upon funding from the WB. A component of the PRSP focuses on the need to mitigate the effects of drought and food shortages as well as embarking upon other long-term issues to help reduce poverty in Kenya.

The Donor Alert 2002 is for US$ 59,482,798.


The 2001 Donor Alert was prepared at a time when Kenya was in the middle of one of its worst droughts in 60 years causing severe stress for a significant proportion of the population. The continued vulnerability of children to food insecurity, poor access to water and health services was apparent in the high malnutrition rates, up to 15-25%, that prevailed in some areas for the first half of the year. The situation improved thanks to humanitarian interventions and to the long rains in the second quarter of the year (March - June). It should, however, be noted that rainfalls were below normal and inconsistent, with some areas receiving enough rain and other, particularly northeastern districts, receiving very little.

Insecurity and conflicts arose over access to pasture and water resources and many became dependent on humanitarian assistance to survive. Emergency food rations of cereals and pulses, while alleviating hunger and saving lives, created greater need for water and fuel than traditional pastoral diets of meat and milk. At the same time distances to water sources increased as traditional ones dried up.

The most affected were populations in the districts in the North and Northeast of the country. These communities rely predominantly on livestock products for their livelihood, and have been especially hard-hit by four successive droughts over two years. Indicators of deteriorating food security in these drought-prone districts included poor health and nutrition, unusual livestock movements, no calving, low milk consumption, livestock deaths and extreme dependence on relief food.

In addition, a number of marginal agro-pastoral districts had been hard hit by the drought, but following the short rains assessment, nine of these districts in Eastern Province and the Rift Valley were withdrawn from the general food distribution. These districts received favourable rainfall, which led to a bumper crop. However, pockets of communities continue to suffer from the stress of the drought. The most vulnerable were targeted for general food distributions, while some FFW projects started to maintain the levels of food security.

While the drought exacerbated poverty and led to an increase in banditry and inter-ethnic fighting, the increase in small arms throughout the region escalated. Banditry and ethnic violence have restricted access, held up food aid deliveries and resulted in death and injury of humanitarian workers, as well as endangered the lives of people within the communities.

One of the consequences of the drought is failing health. Diseases associated with malnutrition became more prevalent. An outbreak of malaria and typhoid in the Eastern Province was recorded. Typhoid cases increased by 154% compared to reported cases in 2000. In April, there was an outbreak of cholera in Wajir district. Four hundred people were affected, and 30 people died.

Conflicts (ethnic clashes) have been identified in 36 districts provoking population displacements that need an urgent solution to avoid future negative consequences. As a result of the 1992 and 1997 elections a big number of people are still displaced in different areas of the country waiting for improvement of the security conditions to be relocated back in their areas of origin.

There is a continuous influx of refugees from all the countries surrounding Kenya asking for protection or political asylum, increasing the number of people in need of assistance (food, health and jobs). Kenya is already hosting more than 220,000 refugees, the majority of whom originate from Sudan and Somalia. Although there is a small number of urban refugees (approximately 15,000), the majority is housed in two camps, one in Kakuma, Turkana district, and the other in Daadab, Garissa district. Both of these arid districts were severely affected by the drought and continue to require humanitarian assistance.

Progress made towards the strategic goals

In the Agriculture sector, a Government donation covered the seed needs identified by the Agriculture Sector Group. In the Eastern Province, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) partners provided support to community-based seed networks through local seed fairs and increased access of vulnerable, needy farmers through the use of seed vouchers. The short rains season that started in late October produced good crops in most areas. A total of US$ 3,209,000 was received to cover the needs of this sector.

In the Donor Alert 2001, Education was included as a priority sector. Through the Governmental of Kenya (GoK), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF's) African Girls Education Initiative (AGEI) programme procured and delivered school supplies to six drought-affected districts. In the same districts, information was collected on key indicators on emergency education.

In the Food aid sector, 320,000 metric tonnes (MTs) of food was distributed to 4.3 million vulnerable people in 22 districts. The food distribution saved loss of lives, alleviated hunger and helped preserve household assets. Food-for-work projects in nine districts facilitated the recovery process and enabled a smooth transition from free food distribution. An increase in school enrolments was a positive impact of the expanded School Feeding Programme.

In the Health and Nutrition sector, UNICEF and NGO partners provided technical guidance to the supplementary feeding programmes that currently reach some 410,000 children and lactating women. Common standards for malnutrition surveys were established through the Health and Nutrition Sectoral Group. Training of district level health personnel and community workers in proper child and maternal care practices complemented the feeding programmes.

In the Livestock sector, FAO and NGO partners surveyed, vaccinated and treated livestock in a variety of disease outbreaks including Contagious Bovine Pleura-Pneumonia (CBPP), foot and mouth disease, lumpy skin disease, rabies and trypanosomiasis. A total of US$ 3,763,000 was received to cover the needs of this sector.

In the Water and Sanitation sector, NGOs and the UN assisted the Government of Kenya's Rapid Response Team to facilitate water tankering in Mandera, Garissa and Tana River districts, as well as rehabilitate and drill shallow wells and boreholes all around the drought-affected area.

The Coordination structure was reviewed with the aim to improve the mechanisms at national and district level including information and communication network, sectoral groups, geo-livelihood groups and district steering groups.

Lessons Learned

A number of assessments identified areas that need to be improved as the drought affected areas move into a recovery period. These include:

  • A need to incorporate conflict resolution into drought recovery programmes through an integrated approach that is necessary to solve this problem.

  • After many years of people receiving food rations, some have become dependent on assistance and their traditional coping mechanisms have eroded. This issue has been addressed as a priority for 2002 and is identified as a strategic goal.

  • A need to expand the coordination of the early warning mechanisms on drought and other emergencies through the arid and semi-arid areas. As far back as October 1999, the early warning signals were poor and neither donors nor implementing agencies reacted to manage the drought.

  • Lack of funding in the drought-affected areas should be addressed together by the GoK and humanitarian actors. Security funding is desperately needed to facilitate access to some areas and to avoid any incidents.

Financial overview

In February 2001, UN and the GoK launched an Inter-Agency Donor Alert for the Drought in Kenya appealing for US$ 122,650,146. A poor start to the funding prompted 42 NGOs to launch a joint press release calling on donors to fund the food sector. To reflect the changes in the humanitarian situation since the first donor alert was launched, an annex to the alert was issued in September 2001 to increase the overall appeal to US$ 177,144,052. As of February 2002, a total of US$ 141,791,695 has been pledged.

Kenya Response to the Donor Alert 2001
Funds Requested
Funds Received
Needs Covered
Agriculture & Seeds
Coordination and
Food Aid
Health & Nutrition
Water & Sanitation
  • Figures quoted in the table are taken from the OCHA Kenya Office, as of February 2002.


Analysis of the Environment - Political, security, economic, social and cultural factors influencing the humanitarian situation

For the majority of people who had been affected by the drought of 1999 -2001, this year will be significantly better due to a concerted effort by all stakeholders under the leadership of the Kenya Food Security Meeting (KFSM). Many of those who had been receiving emergency humanitarian assistance are now either undertaking recovery activities such as FFW or are able to resume their normal activities in the agricultural or livestock sector. This is not to say that the effects of the drought are over. For many who lost their animals during the prolonged dry period, it will take some time to fully recover and therefore relief assistance in some form or another needs to be extended.

In November-December 2001, the KFSM coordinated a multi-agency assessment on the impact of the short rains. This assessment was also to state the implications for relief and recovery programming, including projecting food aid needs and highlighting interventions that would be suitable for addressing food security. Using the geo-livelihood approach, the findings that analysed nine districts could be extrapolated to cover the 13 districts which were currently targeted in the emergency operation. The main findings can be summarised thus: food security prospects in the pastoral and agro-pastoral areas of the country are improving although there are significant areas where the outlook remains less favourable, namely Turkana, Mandera, northern Marsabit and parts of Laikipia which have suffered a greater impact as a result of the drought. These areas will require continued assistance of 75% food rations until at least September 2002. Other pastoral areas are in various stages of recovery and will require varying degrees of assistance. Farmers dependent on the short rains expect a good harvest but the situation will need monitoring. These projections have been made with the assumption that the long rains expected between April and June will be adequate.

In general, it could be said that Kenya as a whole is moving out of emergency and into a recovery phase. Some areas will need continued food aid until the end of the year, but others will be phased out of this from April onwards. The critical issue is to address the underlying causes of food insecurity that afflicts a large proportion of rural Kenyans and links this with longer-term recovery programming. In many parts of Kenya, there are people who are experiencing chronic poverty and whether the rains are good or not, the solution to their problems is not short-term emergency interventions but in longer-term strategies.

Political context

There will be a presidential election this year with a new President to succeed the current incumbent. Some analysts report that tensions are likely to occur with possible acts of insecurity and population displacements.

The GoK installed and lifted a temporary trade ban with Somalia in an attempt to limit the flow of small arms. However, proliferation of small arms within the country continues to affect the security of civilians and humanitarian workers.

It is hoped that the relationship between the Kenyan Government and the donor community will improve over time to promote activities in the development sector, together with the resumption of IMF and WB funding. The pattern of donor funding still focuses on emergency operations rather than on longer-term programmes. This could have an impact on the overall success of the implementation of the PRSP.

The PRSP, which was finalised last year and is now about to be implemented, was welcomed as a positive development. It was perceived to be inclusive at all levels and incorporated issues specifically related to agriculture and particularly pastoralism. The reduction of poverty is a key component of mitigating drought effects, as it is predominantly the poor who suffer first. By supporting the PRSP, the humanitarian community will be working through a well-developed process and more directly through the priorities identified by Kenyans themselves to reduce poverty and lead Kenya into a brighter and more sustainable future.

At regional level, despite the anticipation that the installation of Somalia's Transitional National Government would lead to stability and a massive return, it is unlikely that this year will see a major repatriation exercise. Similarly the ongoing civil war in Sudan is likely to continue generating refugees. The strain these places on the hosting country and the immediate host community, moreover, should not be under estimated.

The GoK has recognised that HIV/AIDS is a national emergency and has established the National Aids Control Council (NACC), under the State Corporations Act with a mandate to coordinate efforts in the prevention, and control of HIV/AIDS in Kenya. Committees have been set-up at provincial, district and constituency levels to provide leadership in advocacy and public relations for HIV/AIDS programmes. The impact of the scourge is yet to be fully realised but already, sectors such as health and education are suffering due to loss of trained staff. The number of AIDS orphans is approximately 1.3 million and is escalating and the increase in poverty and the heightened vulnerability and food insecurity that results does not augur well.

The strain on natural resources is an area of concern as many feel that the lack of effective natural resource management is one aspect that exacerbated the effects of the drought. The land available for agriculture and livestock rearing is over burdened and some areas cannot sustain the population dependent on it. This, combined with inefficient agricultural practices reduces the sustainability of many subsistence livelihoods. Disputes over access to grazing lands and water sources have been widespread and are partly a result of ownership disputes. In addition, a weakened infrastructure and poor support to the development of this capability have significantly weakened the ability of Kenya to cope with the effects of drought. Improving access to water has been identified as a major priority for this coming year both in terms of reducing effects of future droughts and limiting the possibilities for insecurity and violence.


Recession in Europe and the United States of America will affect Kenya. Not only will Kenyan goods suffer; tourism will also suffer, which is one of the country's principal sources of foreign revenue. In general, commodity prices have dropped over the past few years. This is affecting Kenya especially in its export of coffee, tea and horticultural goods.

Growth rates have fallen behind population growth for the past three years, leading to a decline in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per person. Economic growth is predicted to be 2.5% in 2002, but this is still too slow to improve the lot of the average Kenyan.

Humanitarian Actors

The KFSM is the main coordinating body for ensuring food security in Kenya and throughout the last two years has been reinforced by the coordination needs of the drought emergency. The GoK chairs the body, which meets once a month, and membership includes line Ministries, UN Agencies, NGOs and Donors. The coordination mechanisms were reviewed by the KFSM this year and the membership agreed to implement many of the recommendations made:

1. A change of focus to ensure that the main coordination is achieved through the livelihood approach.

2. To strengthen the District Steering Groups (DSG) activities.

3. Setting-up a secretariat.

The sectoral groups will remain but be focused more on technical issues. There is wide acknowledgement that the Kenyan coordination structure is a model for all humanitarian actors involved in the drought. Its inclusive approach and wide membership have ensured a concerted approach to dealing with the emergency drought operation. Its strength in the future relies on the continued support of the international aid community and increased involvement of the donors.

Identification of key factors, which may impact on the humanitarian situation in the next 12 months

Poorly defined water and land rights could impact on security, cause population movements, affect access to resources and cause environmental problems.

The mobile nature of the pastoral livelihood in eastern Africa has meant that national borders can often be porous - and cross border movements are often a coping strategy when regular national resources such as grazing and water are stretched. This can lead to increased tensions between different people and exert pressure on local communities and even lead to political instability. In addition, the transmission of diseases for both humans and livestock can be exacerbated. For example, an immunisation programme that may cover the requisite percentage of the population in northeastern Kenya may be threatened if non-immunised people cross from Somalia.

The effects of climate are of course a primary factor influencing the vulnerability of people in Kenya. A combination of floods and drought has severely eroded livelihoods and increases every year. Flooding in November, for example, meant that deliveries of aid in Garissa district were held up for several days due to the roads being impassable. Adverse climatic conditions also affect population movements and the patterns of disease.

An area prone to insecurity is less likely to become a target for humanitarian intervention as lack of access restricts monitoring and implementation. Insecurity also limits access of people to natural resources as well as the benefits from projects. Many donors are reticent about the cost of increase security conditions and all of these aspects lead to reduced food security and therefore higher malnutrition rates.

The current frosty climate with regards to donor relations with the GoK has implications on the humanitarian situation. There is general acknowledgement that many of the root causes of the crisis relate to lack of infrastructure in key drought-affected areas and the rise in poverty. Donors are presently reluctant to invest in longer-term solutions unless a more positive dialogue with the authorities is found. Hence many interventions are "dressed up" as humanitarian action in the search for funds and this leads to "quick fix" responses to what is in actual fact a chronic problem. In addition there is concern that the demands on international funds globally are increasing and donors may be less willing to fund recovery activities for Kenya in view of emergencies in other parts of the world.

The impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic is starting to bite. At household level this is having an economic effect, as the main income earners are unable to work. This is leading to: a) a change in traditional family structures; b) increase chronic malnutrition as traditional family coping strategies break down and c) an increasing number of orphans without the infrastructure to support them.

Human Rights

According to the Kenya Human Rights Commission, there are still a big number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Kenya due to political and other factors. Although these people are included as vulnerable when living in drought-affected areas, they should require special attention, such as protection and rights to move freely.


In order to assist with programming, the humanitarian community determined a number of political, social and cultural and environment factors to be the most likely scenario for the year 2002.

The most likely scenario:

Kenya's election is scheduled to take place at the end of 2002 and no major changes are expected. Whilst the leader and his/her government may change, it is likely that a similar means of governance will continue maintaining the same economic situation as before.

The distribution of harvest is expected to be adequate as a result of average rainfall, but lack of security in parts of the country could impact negatively. Several groups of people in drought-affected areas will continue to require full food rations and related assistance (food security). At the same time, other people will be better helped by aid to help their sustainability and income-generation.

Other possible scenarios

Best-Case Scenario: Good long rains (March-June) that are well distributed and sufficient in quantity to ensure proper plant development. Average to above average short rains (October - December). In a political context a trouble-free election and the setting of, and passing of, the anti-corruption committee.

Worst case scenario: The rains fail or are poor and below average. Political trouble linked to the election causing serious civil unrest and tribalism leading to a decline in tourism and foreign remittances.



  • Progress made towards the strategic goals
  • Lessons Learned
  • Financial overview


  • Political context
  • Economy
  • Humanitarian Actors
  • Identification of key factors, which may impact on the humanitarian situation in the next 12 months
  • Human Rights


  • The most likely scenario:
  • Other possible scenarios


  • Agriculture Sector
  • Education Sector
  • Environment Sector
  • Food Aid Sector
  • Health and Nutrition Sector Plan
  • Livestock Sector
  • Water and Sanitation Sector Plan
  • Support Services

ANNEX I. Organisations Working on the Emergency Response in Kenya 2001

ANNEX II. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

ANNEX III. Acronyms and Abbreviations


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