UNICEF Kenya Humanitarian Situation Report, 20 April 2017
With ten new cases of cholera reported in Dadaab camps, active cholera transmission in Tana River County, diarrheal outbreak in Lamu county and start of rains, cholera cases are likely to increase.
During outreach activities conducted in first half of April in Turkana County and in North Horr (Marsabit County) 8,738 children were screened for acute malnutrition with over 40 per cent identified as acutely malnourished (35.6% moderately and 4.6% severely). All affected children were immediately admitted for treatment.
With UNICEF support 37 of 48 planned water points in droughtaffected counties of Turkana, Garissa and Marsabit have been repaired benefitting 70,558 people including 4,789 school children
During the reporting period, 2,413 cartons of RUTF were dispatched to Wajir, Garissa, Tana River and Turkana counties. From January to March 2017, UNICEF and partners reached over 14,500 severely malnourished children with lifesaving nutrition treatment.
UNICEF received generous contributions from the UK Government, Dutch National Committee, ECHO and CERF in support of the humanitarian response in Kenya. UNICEF has only 35.8 per cent of the humanitarian funds available.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Despite delayed onset, the long rains started in various parts of Central, Eastern and North-Eastern Kenya which temporarily eased dryness and water shortages. However, decreased rains are forecasted across most drought affected counties and outlook is not expected to improve seasonal dryness. In the drought-affected counties of Garissa, Isiolo, Wajir and Tana River rains eased tension over resources, mainly water and pasture, and community members displaced from Garissa because of drought are slowly returning In Dukana (Marsabit County). Heavy rains left over 13,000 goats dead as the animals were already weakened by ongoing drought and unable to withstand heavy rains.
In Tana River County, flooding was reported with river water levels going up to 4.95 m (above flood mark of 4m) and community members living along the river were advised to move to higher grounds. This is likely to exacerbate risks of active cholera transmission in Tana River County.
Drought-induced displacements continue in northern parts of the country. In Garbatulla (Isiolo County), over 13,400 people have been displaced due to drought and 8,650 due to conflict over scarce resources. In East Pokot approximately 1,806 households (10,597 people and 6,018 children) are still displaced residing in 23 safe sites in Baringo North and Marigat sub-counties. Through integrated outreach activities in the first half of April in Turkana County and in North Horr (Marsabit County), a total of 8,738 children were screened for acute malnutrition with 40.2 per cent identified as acutely malnourished (35.6 per cent moderately malnourished, and 4.6 per cent severely malnourished) and immediately admitted for treatment. The data highlights that ongoing treatment for moderate acute malnutrition is likely cushioning the incidence of severe acute malnutrition, although of concern are the increasing numbers of moderately acutely malnourished children, therefore, highlighting the urgent need for increased household food access. The planned start-up of Blanket Supplementary Feeding Program (BSFP) by WFP in late April in most affected parts of Turkana and Marsabit will address this need. However, WFP is struggling to raise funds for full coverage and tens of thousands of vulnerable children are at risk of moderate malnutrition.
Disease outbreaks continue to be reported in the country with ten (10) new cholera cases reported in Dadaab Refugee Complex between 2 and 17 April – two cases each in Dagahley and Hagadera and six in Ifo 2 camps. Cases were referred and treated/managed at the Cholera Treatment Centers set up in the camp health facilities, and discharged. All the cases were from the recently arrived refugees from Somalia. In Lamu County, an upsurge of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) cases was reported in Mpeketoni Division, with a total of 27 cases line-listed, including one hospitalbased death and three community deaths. Laboratory specimens were shipped to National Public Health Laboratories (NPHLs) for testing and confirmation of causative organism. Cholera outbreak in Tana River County is still active.
In the crop-producing areas of Kenya, an outbreak of new devastating pest is threatening the yields and livelihoods of farmers. Due to infestation of army worms, there is uncertainty over yields among maize farmers in the North Rift region leading to increased cost of production and anticipated low harvest this season. The army worms have destroyed hundreds of acres of maize crops in the country’s food basket, with most farmers complaining of incurring huge costs to contain them and with likelihood of worsening food security situation in the country
The National Drought Management Authority estimates that current milk availability is at an all-time low of 3-8 per cent of normal in the arid lands. This highlights a major nutritional risk factor given that milk is the main source of nutrition for young children in pastoral /arid areas.
In Baringo, health service provision is negatively affected by insecurity and ongoing military interventions especially in Pokot East sub-county. Health workers are staying away from work in most of the facilities in Pokot East, with Chemolingot Hospital not fully operational and only with skeletal staff.
While military interventions in Baringo and Laikipa counties have reduced violent intercommunal conflicts, clashes over water resources were reported in Marsabit County. Between 10 – 13 April, in Qubi Kallo and Shurr areas (about 30 kms from Marsabit town), three children (one 10 year old and two 17 years old) and 6 men were killed due to resourcebased conflict over access to a water-point in Qubi Kallo (Gabra/Borana communities).
Women and children in North Pokot Sub County are still traveling long distances to access water and thereby being at risk, as all the water pans had dried up and 90 per cent of boreholes are not working and require to be repaired. The County Water Department is trucking water using three water trucks for Pokot North, Central, part of the West and lower Pokot South.
Kambioos camp, the smallest of five refugee camps in Dadaab, was closed with the 6,435 refugees in Kambioos moved to Hagadera camp. According to IOM’s DTM4 about 500 individuals from Bay and Middle Juba regions of Somalia have crossed the border and reached Dadaab (Kenya). These are spontaneous returnees from drought affected areas in Somalia that reportedly returned to Kenya due to the severe conditions in Somalia because of the drought.