Kenya

Kenya Key Message Update, July 2017

Food access expected to be further constrained during election period

Key Messages

  • In preparation for the August 8, 2017, general elections, households, when possible, have stockpiled food as there has been a general slowdown in market functioning since mid-June, which is expected to intensify. In addition, humanitarian partners have temporarily slowed down their drought response activities, since they have scaled back their presence on the ground until after the elections. In particularly contentious areas, including Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Narok, Kisii, Homa Bay, Isiolo, Turkana, Bungoma, Kiambu, Kilifi, Lamu, Migori, Baringo, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, and Meru, reduced food access is expected through the election period and could last longer if any skirmishes break out.

  • In the pastoral areas, food security continues to deteriorate during the dry season. Below-average milk production and low livestock prices have resulted in low food availability at the household level. “Extremely Critical” levels of acute malnutrition persist in portions of Turkana and Marsabit, and “Critical” levels in West Pokot, Baringo, Samburu, Wajir, Mandera, and Garissa counties, with a majority of households experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. Drier-than-normal conditions have resulted in atypical livestock migration, leading to widespread resource-based conflict in Baringo, Wajir, Isiolo, West Pokot, and Turkana.

  • In the marginal agricultural areas, green crop harvests, which began in July, are moderating staple food prices and slightly increasing food availability. However, crop production is significantly below average in the southeastern zones, with maize and green grams at 26 and 50 percent of the five-year averages, respectively. The coastal zones have better prospects due to late season average to above-average rainfall, and maize and cassava crop production is expected to be 70 and 90 percent of averages, respectively. The majority of poor households are in Stressed (IPC Phase 2), with additional households expected to move to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) as household stocks deplete by August.

  • A slight reduction in staple food prices has been observed in both the marginal agricultural areas and urban markets as green harvests locally become available and imports flow from Uganda and at lower levels from Tanzania. Despite the large level of maize imports driven by higher prices in Kenya, maize prices remain 35-60 percent above average and continue to constrain household food access.