Failure of long rains in critical areas deepens food insecurity
The poor performance of the long rains (March‐May) to date in northern, eastern, and southeastern areas of Kenya is raising serious food security concerns. Food insecurity for an estimated 700,000 people in northern and eastern pastoral areas is likely to deteriorate to Crisis and Emergency levels (IPC Phase 3 and 4) beginning in June. For poor and very poor farming households in the southeastern marginal agricultural areas, food security is likely to deteriorate after July to Stressed and Crisis levels (IPC Phase 2 and 3). Rains during the last week of April through early May in Turkana, Marsabit, and Mandera have eased severe water shortages but have had little impact in alleviating heightened food insecurity. At least 2.4 million people require food and non‐food assistance through most of 2011, and activation of contingency planning is advised.