Kenya: The 2021 Long Rains Season Assessment Report - August 2021



I. Introduction

The Kenya Food and Nutrition Security Assessment (FNSA) is a multi-agency, multi-sectoral exercise led by the government of Kenya, and is conducted in 23 arid and semi-arid (ASAL) counties. The assessment is carried out by the Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG) in collaboration with the respective County Steering Groups (CSGs). The KFSSG is a multiagency body comprised of government departments, United Nation (UN) agencies and NonGovernmental Organizations (NGO) concerned with food and nutrition security and is chaired by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) and co-chaired by the World Food Programme (UN WFP). Food security/insecurity in the country is highly dependent of rainfall.

Given that the rainfall is bimodal in the ASAL counties, the assessments are conducted biannually, after the short rains of October to December and the long rains of March to May. The 2021 Long Rains Assessment was conducted between 6th July and 12th August 2021.

II. Objective

The main objective of the assessment was to determine the impacts of the 2021 long rains on food and nutrition security in 23 ASAL counties. The assessment also considered the cumulative effects of previous seasons and impacts of other shocks and hazards including COVID-19 pandemic on food security.

III. Methodology

The food security/insecurity analysis focused on acute food insecurity, but also considered other chronic issues that had direct impacts on food security. The assessment was centered on the four pillars of food security: food availability, food access, utilization and stability. The contributing factors and outcomes and their effects on the key sectors of agriculture, livestock, water, health and nutrition, education, peace and security, and markets and trade were also considered. The assessment also identified interventions to address the issues arising in each sector.

The assessment covered the 23 counties that comprise the ASAL region of Kenya, and whose population is generally the most food insecure given their high levels poverty, high vulnerability to shock and hazards, and the of aridity and rainfall variability of the areas. The area covers approximately 88 percent of Kenya’s landmass, and for the purposes of the assessment is classified into various livelihood zones grouped into five clusters; Pastoral NorthWest, comprising Turkana, Samburu and Marsabit; Pastoral North-East, comprising Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo, Tana River and Mandera; South-East Marginal Agriculture, comprised of Kitui, Makueni, Tharaka Nithi, Embu, and Meru; Coastal Marginal Agriculture, comprising Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta and Lamu; and the Agro-pastoral cluster of Baringo, Narok, Kajiado, West Pokot, Laikipia and the northern part of Nyeri county (Kieni sub-county). The main livelihood activities in these clusters are Pastoralism, Agro-pastoralism, Mixed Farming, Marginal Mixed Farming and some Irrigated Cropping, and these form the unit of analysis.

The assessment involved the collection of both primary and secondary data. The principal sources were: (i) the NDMA’s drought early warning and monitoring system; (ii) data collected from the relevant sectors at county and sub-county level; (iii) community interviews and market interviews using focus group discussions and trader interviews; (iv) secondary data from nutrition surveys (SMART surveys); (v) field observations during transect drives; and (vi) agro-climatic data from FEWS NET.