Kenya Key Message Update, August 2018
Major improvements countrywide, but pastoral areas still Stressed
The August Long Rains Food and Nutrition Security Assessment, in which FEWS NET participated, confirmed that increased crop and livestock production has generally driven food security improvements countrywide. However, it is expected that the drought recovery, especially in the pastoral areas, will take longer than earlier anticipated due to the severe livelihood impacts from the previous poor seasons, ongoing livestock diseases, as well as by the persistent poverty levels that hinder the pace of improvement. As a result, larger areas of the country are projected to remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through January 2019.
In Kenya’s pastoral areas, above-average rangeland resources, projected to last well into the October to December short rains season, have led to increased milk production and terms of trade. While milk production still remains below average in Garissa, Isiolo, Tana River, Wajir, and Kajiado, it continues to drive better consumption levels and nutritional status. Despite the improvements, as pastoralists continue their livestock restocking efforts, the pastoral counties are projected to remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
From June to July, outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever occurred in several counties. Wajir County was the most affected, with six human deaths and 80 percent of the total 1,200 livestock deaths across all the counties. The quarantines restricting the movement, sale, slaughter, and trade of livestock products have all been lifted but remain in force in Garissa and Kilifi, restricting household income and purchasing power.
In marginal agricultural areas, as a result of expanded planting acreage and increased yields, there was above-average production for maize, cowpeas, green grams, millet, and beans. Household stocks may last up to five months in some areas, except for Lamu, Makueni, Nyeri, and Kilifi, where there was below-average production. Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected to prevail through January 2019, except in Lamu. In addition, it is likely that parts of Makueni County and some poor households in other areas that had below-average production, will be facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, beginning in October, as household stocks deplete.
Countrywide, good food access has generally been supported by below-average staple food prices. Between June and July, maize prices in urban markets were 18 to 35 percent below average driven by improved maize availability from local harvests and cross-border imports from Tanzania. Bean prices were mixed, with July prices seven percent above average in Nairobi, following high demand and low supplies, while they remained stable in Eldoret. In Kisumu and Mombasa, though, bean prices were nine and 23 percent below average, respectively.