Three Quarters of Kenyans are hunger stressed this is according to relief web report. Raising a red flag on regions that need urgent relief assistance. The Kenyan government last year had declared an impending drought with an estimated 1.6 million people affected. After a poor performance of the long rains between March and May 2014 in the arid and semi-arid zones, the drought situation continued to affect both pastoral and marginal agriculture livelihood zones.
The rainfall between October and December has so far been below average and is expected to remain so with the rains ending very soon and on time. Normal to below normal recovery of range land resources is likely in most pastoral and agro-pastoral areas, and crops have so far not developed to normal levels in the southeastern marginal agricultural areas. Food security will likely remain Stressed through March. It has been driest in Isiolo, Garissa, and Wajir. As a result, rangeland conditions are expected to deteriorate faster than normal during the dry season from January to March. The majority of households will remain Stressed but localized areas including Merti,Isiolo county, Daadab, garissa county and Hadado and Sebule of Wajir county will likely be in a Crisis through March this is according to the Relief report.
Reports on the ground from Merti, Isiolo County by Yusuf Dima says “I see the situation is not good as there is influx of livestock from neighboring communities like Degodia from Wajir. This may lead to pasture shortage that lead to drought.”
Currently the situation looks a bit hopeful in some parts of the country while others are in a major crisis is looming. In the northwestern pastoral areas of Turkana, Samburu, parts of Marsabit, West Pokot, and Baringo,where they received rainfall average amounts of rainfall since the beginning of October last year. This has caused marked improvements in range land resources, which are currently fair to good. Livestock body conditions also range from fair to good, and livestock productivity and prices have increased.
But in the northeastern pastoral areas, especially in Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo, and parts of Tana River, have received negligible amounts of rainfall. Only modest improvements in range land conditions have been reported. Most households in both the northwestern and northeastern pastoral areas remain Stressed. However, localized areas in Isiolo, Wajir, and Garissa have had continued deterioration of range land conditions since the end of last season. These areas are in a Crisis.
Winnie Kamau for African Voices
President Association of Freelance Journalists
Media Relations Consultant