Kenya: Drought - DREF Bulletin no. 05ME075 Update No. 1


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In Brief


Update on the situation

In Kenya, an estimated 2.5 million people are predicted to require emergency food aid (at 100% food ration) and other non-food interventions. The situation is particularly serious in Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Kajiado (now classified as 'Emergency districts' as per the Arid Lands Resource Mobilization Programme), and also in Garissa, and Moyale districts, but other districts will also require emergency relief operations.

The failed rains situation has forced pastoralists and livestock to trek up to 40 kms in search for water and pasture and in the process livestock have weakened. Subsequently, livestock mortalities have escalated, particularly in the pastoral districts of Wajir, Marsabit and Mandera. Very little milk is available for all age groups and most critically for the young children. In addition, frequency and composition of meals has been reduced. Rates of child malnutrition are alarmingly high in the worst drought affected districts.

Current press reports indicate that at least 27 people have died from starvation. In addition, livestock in many parts of the affected districts are reportedly in the poor condition. Mass deaths of livestock are being reported in Mandera and Marsabit districts where mortality rates are estimated at 30-40% of cattle and goats and 10-15% of camels.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action taken so far

Kenya Red Cross has dispatched teams of officers from its National headquarters to various districts that have been affected to support relief coordination activities being undertaken by the local branches in collaboration with the District Steering Groups (DSG). The affected districts include Kajiado, Marsabit, Wajir, Mandera, Makueni, Kwale, Kilifi and Garissa. Two hundred and fifty metric tones of food aid in 7 trucks was dispatched to Marsabit on Friday 30th December 2005.

The KRCS, in collaboration with the government, has launched a national appeal for financial support, food and non-food items. Accounts have been opened in the major commercial banks for this purpose. Several Media houses, banks and other companies are also involved in making appeals to the public which will then be handed over to KRCS for distributed by theFederation.

Out of the DREF funds allocated by the Federation, a total of Kshs.21.5 million (CHF 378,000) is being released to the branches of the affected districts for the animal off-take programme (purchase of livestock from the pastoralists, slaughtering and distribution of the meat) that is now underway. Other proposed interventions include detailed assessment, water trucking, rehabilitation of water boreholes and sinking of new wells, transportation and distribution of donated food and unimix and support to health centres.

In addition to the DREF allocation that was released on the 23 of December, the Federation is drafting an Emergency Appeal together with the Kenya Red Cross to support the national society implement the above interventions The appeal is expected to be launched in early January.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Kenya: Abbas Gullet, Secretary General, Kenya Red Cross Society, Email:; Phone +; Fax +

In Kenya: Esther Okwanga, Federation Head of East Africa Sub-Regional Office; Email:; Phone +; Fax +

In Kenya: Anitta Underlin, Federation Head of Regional Delegation, Nairobi; Email:; Phone +; Fax + and Steve Penny, Disaster Management Coordinator, East Africa Regional Delegation, Nairobi; Email:; Phone +; Fax +

In Geneva: Amna Al Ahmar, Federation Regional Officer for Eastern Africa, Africa Dept; Email:; Phone +41.22.730.4224 ; Fax +41.22.733.03.95

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at

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