Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday, 8th September 2021, declared the drought affecting parts of the country a national disaster.
According to an article that cited UN for the coordination of Humanitarian, Nine counties in Kenya are expected to have the highest numbers of people in IPC Phase 3 and above from November 2021 onwards. That is: Turkana, Mandera, Lamu, Garissa, Wajir, Kwale, Kitui, Tana River and Isiolo. Food insecurity is expected to worsen in the period ahead based on the likelihood of poor rains during the upcoming short rains season (October to December).
Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta consequently instructed The National Treasury and the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government to spearhead Government efforts to assist affected households including water and relief food distribution as well as livestock uptake.
Coming from a pastoralist community, we have faced a lot of drought related challenges for very many years. Access to water is an urgent concern for both humans and livestock. Many open water sources -including rivers, water pans, and dams- have dried up across pastoral and marginal agricultural livelihood zones, and other open water sources at 20 to 40 percent of capacity. With pastoralists having to walk longer distances in search of water, food and forage for their livestock, tensions among communities have risen and an increase in inter-communal conflict has been reported, according to an assessment by the ASAL Humanitarian Network. Atypical livestock migration is expected to intensify from September through October 2021 and from December 2021 until the beginning of the 2022 March to May long rains, according to the latest IPC analysis. As rangeland resources deteriorate rapidly in the period ahead, migration to dry-season grazing areas and other atypical routes are expected to further intensify, potentially increasing the incidence of resource-based conflict and disrupting markets, schooling, livelihoods and access to health facilities and services.
According to “The Guardian” An estimated 2.1 million Kenyans face starvation due to a drought in half the country, which is affecting harvests.