Kenya: Drought Emergency Appeal Revision 2, n°MDRKE039

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This revised Emergency Appeal seeks 25,062,572 Swiss francs (increased from 9,107,628 Swiss francs) to enable the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) in assisting 1,033,300 people (an increase from 340,786 people) for twelve months. The expanded operation will focus on the following sectors: Health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Livelihoods, Nutrition and Food Security. It also reflects a substantial increase in the target population, number of activities, an enlarged geographic scope and timeframe for implementation. The current funding gap is 23,985,618 Swiss francs. The planned response reflects the current situation and information available now of the evolving operation, and will be adjusted based on further developments and more detailed assessments. Details are available in the Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA).

The disaster and the Red Cross Red Crescent response to date

  • March – May 2016: During the seasonal rains, heavy flooding of the River Tana washed away crops and delayed planting amongst the communities living along the river in Garissa and Tana River, resulting in reduced household level food security and dietary intake. On the other hand, parts of arid and semi-arid (ASAL) counties started experiencing some level of drought stress due to poor performance of the March-May 2016 long rainy season.

  • June 2016: The Government`s early warning system started signalling drought stress in pockets of the coastal region as early as June.

  • September 2016: The early warning information covering the month of September indicated the most drought affected counties as Kilifi, Kwale, Tana River and Taita Taveta. Others are Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Makueni, Kitui and Samburu. The drought and food security situation in these counties ranges from moderate to severe.

  • 23 November 2016: The KRCS through the IFRC launched an Emergency Appeal for 3,844,037 Swiss francs. A total of 297,808 Swiss francs was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF).

  • 10 February 2017: The KRCS through the IFRC revised the Appeal to 9,107,628 Swiss francs to assist 340,786 people in 13 counties.

  • February 2017: Kenya Food Security Steering Group conducted a short rains assessment. The findings indicated the population requiring emergency and humanitarian assistance had increased to 2.7 million. The government further announced the increase of affected population to three million and projected to hit four million by mid- April.

  • 25 March 2017: The KRCS through the IFRC revises the Appeal for 25,062,572 Swiss francs to assist 1,033,300 people (150,424 households) in 14 counties.

The second revision of this appeal is brought on by a greater need for 1) Health and Nutrition 2) WASH and 3) Food Security and Livelihoods interventions in 14 counties, now including Laikipia county. On nutrition, there is a great increase in the number of people who require support, especially in the number of children with acute malnutrition. Some counties are reporting rates of acute malnutrition ranging between 15 per cent in Baringo to 32 per cent in Mandera based on mixed criteria - MUAC and Weight for Height. Thus, KRCS is scaling up activities in health and nutrition, cash transfer, animal destocking and slaughter programming, and distribution of foodstuffs. Furthermore, KRCS’ assessments show the distance to water points is much longer than average in recent months (impacting up to 70 per cent of the community, who may be traveling three times further than average). This was noted in many counties where KRCS is responding. As such, this revised appeal seeks to increase water access through installation or rehabilitation of water points. This is critical as food security interventions should be aligned with adequate access to water. KRCS therefore sees the need to scale up the interventions, especially in the counties in the alarm phase.

The rate of malnutrition in 10 of the 14 selected counties is above the 15 per cent emergency threshold based on the results of nutrition smart survey done as part of the short rains assessments. Turkana North, North Horr in Marsabit and Mandera are Extremely Critical (IPC Phase 5), while Turkana Central is in Critical (IPC Phase 4) and Serious (Phase 3) in Turkana West, a slight deterioration compared to the same time last year. Analysis from neighbouring areas, East Pokot and West Pokot, has also shown deterioration with the counties classified as Critical (Phase 4) and Serious (Phase 3) respectively. Deterioration has also been noted in Tana River County, currently classified as Serious (Phase 3), Marsabit County classified as Critical (Phase 4) and Mandera, which is also classified as Critical (Phase 4). The total projected caseload until October in 23 ASALs is 268,000 children under five years of age and 34,000 pregnant and lactating women (PLW) with 60 per cent of these in just five counties of Mandera, Turkana, West Pokot, Wajir and Garissa.

Increased drop-out rates of facility deliveries for expectant mothers due to strained household income, which would facilitate transportation, often leads to increased maternal and new-born deaths. Compromised drug adherence for the individuals on long term treatment due to lack of food, increases the severity of diseases for cases such as HIV there is increased risk of transmission as the viral suppression is interfered with. High levels of malnutrition which weaken the immune system thereby predisposing vulnerable groups to infections such as measles and other common ailments. Given these alarming statistics, various health and nutrition interventions targeting acute and chronic malnutrition will be scaled up in next three to six months.