Record-high rains continue to drive improvements but localized floods strain livelihoods
The 2018 March to May long rains were the heaviest in the past 55 years. This caused significant flooding, especially along riverine areas across the country and leaching of cropland, but overall drove recovery in previously drought-stricken areas, improving food security outcomes, particularly in pastoral areas. Currently the highest area of food insecurity is in flood-affected Tana Riverine Zone, where inaccessible households are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. However, assistance is likely to reach these areas by July.
Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected to persist through September in Wajir, parts of Marsabit, Isiolo, Turkana, Garissa,
Mandera, and Tana River due to various factors, including livelihood recovery from drought and/or flooding, a livestock quarantine from an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF), and insecurity. However, with the favorable forecast for the October to December rainy season, further improvements are expected, which will lead to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes across the majority of the country.
Through January 2019, food availability and access are likely to be favorable across most areas of Kenya. Overall, the ongoing marginal harvest, followed by the October unimodal harvest, and then the next marginal harvest, beginning in December, are all projected to be average to above average. Staple food prices are forecast to remain below last year’s and the five-year average due to available local stocks and above-average regional imports. This will continue to increase poor household purchasing power.