Kenya Key Message Update, July 2018
Available harvests, low staple prices, and increased milk production improving food security
Across Kenya, food availability and access have improved with higher milk production, ongoing marginal harvests, and generally below-normal staple food prices, which are up to 30 percent below average in urban markets, resulting in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes. However, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes persist in riverine areas that are recovering from flooding, including in Tana River, where previously inaccessible households are now receiving humanitarian assistance; sub-counties impacted by an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF); and previously drought-affected regions.
Across the marginal areas, harvesting of the long rains’ season crops of maize, sorghum, millet, beans, cowpeas, and green grams is increasing household food availability, consumption, and casual labor income-earning opportunities. Total marginal production is likely to be near-average; however, due to a combination of flooding and Fall Armyworm infestations, below-average harvests are expected in Kilifi, Kitui, Tharaka Nithi, and Kwale.
In the pastoral areas, pasture and browse availability remain good and above average, driven by the significant March to May long rains season, which has improved livestock productivity. However, in Mandera, conditions range from fair to good due to the severity of previously degraded forage. Overall, countrywide, milk production is above average, ranging from two to seven litres, except in Mandera, Garissa, and Tana River, where there have been lower conceptions and births due to the 2016/17 drought.
By early July, an outbreak of RVF, which affects both humans and livestock, was contained in Wajir and significantly reduced in parts of Mandera, but it is still ongoing in Mandera South, Marsabit (Moyale, North Horr, Saku, and parts of Laisamis sub-counties), and Isiolo (Sericho, Merti, and Oldonyiro wards). All livestock markets and slaughter houses in the affected areas remain closed in an effort to stop the spread of the disease, constraining a major source of pastoralists’ income. Widespread vaccination efforts continue, and alerts have been issued in neighboring counties.