Kenya: Drought Response Situation Report No. 2, 23 May 2017
Highlights - The nutrition situation remains of concern across Kenya’s northern pastoralist and southeastern marginal agricultural areas. Surveys conducted in January and February report a Global Acute Malnutrition rate of up to 30 per cent in three sub-counties.
Depressed rainfall is reported over most of the country, especially eastern areas, during the March to May long rains season.
The long rains assessment is scheduled for the end of June and may lead to a revision of the Kenya Flash Appeal.
The lack of adequate funding is preventing partners from scaling up multi-sectorial interventions to assist communities severely affected by drought.
Since its launch in March, the Flash Appeal has raised US$44.5 million (27 per cent) against a total requirement of US$165.7 million. The protection, education and early recovery sectors have received very limited to no funding.
Food Security partners, in coordination with the Government, are delivering a combination of cash and in-kind interventions and emergency livelihoods support to rural areas.
An estimated 175,655 people – including 139,000 children – are at risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. Child protection and GBV prevention, outreach and support services are urgently required.
The onset of the March-May long rains was delayed and characterized by uneven geographical distribution and prolonged dry spells. Seasonal rainfall was depressed over most areas from March to April. This resulted in poor crop performance and even crop failure in some regions. In the pastoral areas of the Rift Valley and parts of northeastern Kenya, pasture for animals and water availability have deteriorated.
The outlook for May indicates that the western and central highlands, the Rift Valley, and the coastal strip will receive near normal rainfall. Most parts of Kenya are expecting depressed rainfall with a few days of intense rains.
Atypically low agricultural activity will result in a below average harvest in July. Staple food prices will remain elevated due to below average crop production, further compounded by outbreaks of the Fall Armyworm in western Kenya, which will further reduce food supplies.
Meat and dairy prices are on the rise and expected to remain high. Most pastoralists will maintain their livestock in dry season grazing areas far from homesteads, limiting the availability of meat and milk for consumption and sale. Between July and September, a seasonally dry period, increased livestock mortalities are expected.
Fall Armyworm is spreading fast and has so far affected over 143,000 hectares of land in major maize and wheat producing counties. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture have adopted a planning response figure of 800,000 Ha which requires US$33.5 million for pesticides and awareness campaigns in the medium term. US$6.6 million is required for an immediate response. The Government of Kenya has launched awareness campaigns among farmers.
Across Kenya, greater numbers of poor households are expected to be unable to meet their minimum dietary needs. As food and milk consumption decreases, malnutrition is on the rise.
Families are increasingly reliant on humanitarian interventions to stabilize malnutrition levels.