Drought To Worsen In December: 4 Million People Require Aid

By Sumaya Hussein

The drought situation in the country is likely to get worse as little to no rains have been recorded in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL regions) leaving the places anguishing in drought.

According to the Ministry of East African Community, The ASALs, and Regional Development, the drought situation in November remained critical in 20 out of the 23 ASAL counties.

Despite rains having been reported across the country, there is the possibility of a fifth failed season.

The current short rain season has underperformed in the ASAL counties, marked by late onset, poor distribution, and low precipitation.

However, as a result of the little rains, Laikipia county slightly improved to the Alert phase, leaving 13 counties in the Alarm drought phase.

“The situation may slightly improve, especially on environmental indicators. However, the gains are projected to be short-lived as the country heads into the normal dry spell of January-March 2022,” said Rebecca Miano, CS for East Africa Community, ASALs and Regional Development.

The 13 counties that remain in the alarm phase include Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, Turkana, Samburu, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Kajiado, Kilifi, Kwale, and Kitui counties.

Seven counties including Narok, Nyeri, Makueni, Meru, Laikipia, and Tharaka Nithi are in the Alert drought phase.

The remaining three; Baringo, West Pokot, and Lamu are in the Normal drought phase.

The number of people requiring humanitarian assistance stands at 4.35 million. Risks of acute malnutrition continue to rise as 942,000 cases of children (6-59 months) and 134,000 cases of pregnant or lactating women acutely malnourished continue to access treatment.

CS Miano said the government has been able to scale up targeted response interventions to reach the most vulnerable in the communities.

This includes the sectors of food aid, cash transfer, water, livestock, agriculture, health and nutrition, education, peace, and security.

“Through the flush appeal by the UN Agencies and efforts by the National Steering Committee on Drought Response, the Government and partners have been able to raise funds to scale up operations in ASALs and to other pockets of non-ASAL counties equally affected by drought,” said CS Miano.

Kenya is among the countries in the Horn of Africa that are severely affected by the drought. Other countries in the region include Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea.

This story was first published at Citizen Digital

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