Kenya Food Security Outlook Update, August 2020


Consecutive above-average rainy seasons drive improved food security outcomes


  • According to the Kenya Food Security Group (KFFSG) 2020 long rains assessment, widespread Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are ongoing. Although desert locusts and floods caused crop and livestock losses, the above-average March-May long rains led to favorable harvests in most marginal agricultural areas as well as above-average livestock sale values and average milk productivity, resulting in a decline in the population in need relative to the preceding 2019 short rains assessment. FEWS NET similarly anticipates widespread area-level Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, but Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the Tana Riverine and Mandera Riverine Livelihood zones.

  • On August 26, the national curfew and closure of bars and nightclubs were extended for another 30 days, though the closing hour was extended by one hour to 8:00 pm for restaurants. An urban assessment in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu found that 29 percent of respondents in Nairobi and approximately 40-45 percent of respondents in Mombasa and Kisumu reported having not worked in the last seven days. The lack of income-earning opportunities is limiting household food access. Most households reported engaging in coping strategies indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3). 

  • The impact of the forecast below-average October-December short rains on livestock body conditions and productivity is expected to be mitigated by current rangeland conditions and a short-lived rejuvenation in forage and water resources. Livestock productivity and sale values are expected to be stable from November to January. However, the below-average short rains will reduce demand for agricultural waged labor and drive below-average household incomes. The long rains harvest from the unimodal high and medium production areas are expected to sustain average to below-average staple food prices leading to widespread area-level Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes except along Mandera’s border with Somalia where insecurity and poor income-earning opportunities will drive Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes.