Kenya: Drought Emergency appeal n° MDRKE016


Summary: This Emergency Appeal seeks CHF 4,931,743 in cash, kind, or services to support the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) to assist 855,000 beneficiaries for 6 months (end-September, 2011 completion and final report end-December).

The effects of the La Niña conditions predicted by IGAD climate prediction and application centre (ICPAC) in collaboration with the Kenya Meteorological Department in July 2010 are being experienced in several counties in the following provinces: Rift Valley, Eastern, North Eastern and Coast, following depressed rainfall conditions in October-December 2010.

The drought is currently at the early emergency stage. The Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG) recently completed an assessment that highlights, "an estimated 2.4 million persons, up from 1.6 million in August 2010, require food and non-food assistance for the next six months, at least. The interventions are required urgently, so as to bridge significant household food gaps while protecting livelihoods. The exceptionally poor performance of the October to December 2010 short rains occurred after similarly poor March-June long rains in the northern and north eastern pastoral areas; and the south-eastern and coastal lowlands. The impacts of cumulative poor rains have precipitated a rapid decline in household food security in these areas. The deterioration in food security is significant because households and livelihoods were just beginning to recover from the effects of the prolonged drought that started in 2007 and ended in October 2009.

There have been livestock deaths, acute food shortage and increased migration by pastoralist communities due to depletion of pasture and water for livestock; a situation that has sparked off conflict over struggle for dwindling pasture and water resources with host communities. As a result, school drop-outs have increased significantly with school going children migrating with families in search of food, water and pasture for their livestock. The effect on farmers will have a compounded impact as these farmers have not yet recovered from the effects of the 2009/10 drought.

The severely affected areas of immediate concern include Upper Eastern (Marsabit, Isiolo, Moyale and Samburu), North Eastern (Mandera, Wajir, Ijara and Garissa), North Rift (Pokot and Turkana), and Coast (Tana River, Lamu and Kwale). The failed short rains led to unfavourable crop and livestock productions. Subsequently an estimated 2.4 million people require food and non food assistance as detailed in the latest KFSSG short rains assessment report. In KRCS's areas of operation as detailed above, we estimate that approximately 855,000 people are severely affected. Communities are currently coping through livestock migration, voluntary livestock off take through sale, pooling resources to purchase water and pasture for livestock and dropping out of pastoralism to small holder crop farming, especially those living around permanent rivers such as River Tana and Ewaso Nyiro. KRCS proposes to reach out to these individuals through this appeal in order to provide vital assistance in the areas of Relief, Water, Hygiene Promotion and Emergency Health.

In September 2010, KRCS launched its Drought Initiative immediately after the La Niña event was announced and the IGAD Climate Consensus provided nearly unanimous rainfall predictions. This initiative centred round alerting partners and preparing key branches by encouraging them to begin discussions and plans to mitigate the impending drought's effects with communities in their districts. These Branches prepared plans for the different phases of the drought cycle - normal, crisis and emergency in preparation to respond to the imminent drought. The short rains of November-December 2011 failed as predicted earlier. At this juncture, KRCS launched a National Drought Appeal on 21st January 2011. The appeal sought to mobilize resources for immediate response needs as well as to solicit support for longer-term activities which are targeted towards reducing the vulnerability of the affected communities due to rainfall fluctuation or to better cope with poor rain seasons in the future. This drought initiative will continue, focusing now on the next key period, the long-rains of March to May. If these rains perform poorly, as predicted, current conditions will deteriorate significantly, with much greater humanitarian impacts.

KRCS has operated in this manner as it is shifting its approach to drought from one of predominantly relief, to Early Warning - Early Action (EWEA). Support to develop and implement this shift has been provided by ECHO and OFDA, through a partnership with IFRC. Through the National appeal, KRCS has also gained support from various Partners within the Movement such as Norwegian Red Cross, IFRC and external partners from outside the Movement such as private corporate donors who have funded emergency interventions as well as mid to long term interventions with a view to building community resistance to drought periods and in line with the KRCS National Appeal.

Currently KRCS has used the funds raised through the National Appeal to carry out emergency response activities such as animal destocking and water trucking as well as to initiate some mid to long term projects such as strategic borehole rehabilitation and develop final plans for major water projects in various areas around the country. These major water projects are set to commence in the next few months.

As the National Appeal focused on early intervention, the drought situation has now progressed and the situation has worsened prompting the Society to ask the International Federation to launch this International Appeal which focuses on emergency interventions to augment and facilitate the required up-scaling of the interventions. Specifically, based on the summary of the situation described above, the Society proposes immediate interventions targeting the most vulnerable populations, in areas of Relief/School feeding, Livelihoods, WatSan and Health and Nutrition.

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