Kenya: Consecutive Droughts Spell Disaster and Hunger for Kenya in 2018
The government declared a national drought disaster early last year, with 23 out of 47 counties affected.
Northern Turkana Central, Turkana South, Turkana West, East Pokot, and Isiolo counties – also in Kenya’s so-called Arid and Semi-Arid Lands, known as ASAL – had GAM rates of between 15 and 29 percent.
Livestock, on which households in the underdeveloped ASAL areas depend, have also succumbed to the water shortages – dying in large numbers.
"Most of the communities we support as an organisation are pastoralists who solely rely on livestock for livelihoods.
They lost most of their livestock," Godfrey Wapangana, a programme officer at the aid agency World Vision, told IRIN.
That has reduced the availability of protein and milk, worsening nutritional levels, particularly among children.
That, coupled with an outbreak of the voracious Fall Army Worm pest, has seen wholesale staple food price increases of between eight and 32 percent above average in the urban markets of Nairobi, Mombasa, and Eldoret.
Some parts of Kenya have faced at least two consecutive years of failed rains leading to the current crisis.
As of December, out of a total of $205 million requested, donors had provided $86 million – 42 percent of needs.
The agency also says it has a shortfall of $24.6 million to cover its refugee operation to the end of May 2018.