Kenya Food Security Outlook Update, October 2020 to May 2021


COVID-19 restrictions and forecast below-average Oct-Dec rains to heighten acute food insecurity


• In the pastoral areas, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes through the scenario period will persist with the worst affected households likely in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to below-average herd sizes, limited assets, low income-earning opportunities, and constrained livelihood activities impacting market access. The forecast below-average 2020 short rains and 2021 long rains are expected to lead to short-lived pasture and water regeneration, and gradual declines in livestock body conditions and production, limiting household access to food and income.

• In the marginal agricultural areas, land preparation and planting activities in anticipation of the October to December short rains are providing average income to households. Below-average short and long rains are expected to drive below-average harvests and associated income earning activities, and households unable to improve their food stocks will become market dependent. Due to low income and higherpriced commodities impacting household purchasing power, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely through May 2021.

• The Ministry of Health attributes the increase of over 10,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the beginning of October to increased testing following the receipt of 150,000 testing kits from donors. COVID-19 control measures such as the national 11.00 pm to 4.00 am curfew, containment of Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps, mandatory testing at borders for truck-drivers, and enforcement of social distancing rules remain in place. Education institutions partially reopened across the country on October 12 with final year students in primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions reporting back to school.

• Following 130 percent of normal rainfall from February to September, flooding from the Lake Turkana and along the Turkwel River basins has displaced around 6,500 households in Kerio, Kalokol, Kang' atotha Lake zone wards in Turkana County and Loiyangalani ward in Marsabit County. The submergence of fishing equipment, boats, and homes located along Lake Turkana's shores is driving Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in the Fishing Livelihood Zone. The Turkwel Dam is currently at 92 percent capacity, and there remains a flood risk to downstream households located along River Turkwel.

• Staple food prices in September were mixed and continue to be affected by COVID-19 related restrictions. Maize prices were mostly average to 12 percent below the five-year averages except in Kwale, Garissa, and Mandera markets where maize prices were 17-22 percent above average due to below-average production and constrained cross-border supply. Dry bean prices remained 9-24 percent above the five-year averages across all markets except in Taita Taveta, Nyeri, and Kisumu, where there was adequate supply from a combination of local harvests, available substitutes, and cross-border supplies