20 Feb 2017

Drought crisis hits Kenya

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Kenya’s government has declared the drought affecting large parts of the country a national disaster. Kenya Red Cross says that 2.7 million people face starvation if more help is not provided. (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-38934847) Out of Kenya’s 47 counties, 23 in the Arid and Semi Arid areas are deemed to be the most affected by this menace.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), People and animals’ lives are at a higher risk. Consecutive droughts in years 2014, 2015 and last year have made it impossible for most communities to recover, stock enough food and regain health.

Kenya’s drought management authority says livestock are the most threatened. Kajiado is among the counties affected. Its residents who largely consist of the Maasai community live a pastoral life, mainly depending on their herds as a source of livelihood. The nutrition status of this community is drastically falling apart. Especially that of vulnerable groups consisting of young children, pregnant and lactating mothers.

“Pregnant and lactating mothers are the most affected. Majority of them are now under nourished. We have placed them under supplements to increase the much needed nutrients and boost their health. However, it is becoming difficult to monitor their nutrition status since some have migrated in search of pasture for their herds. Of bigger concern is that most of them are not consistent in coming for nutrition clinics.” Larah Ondisa, World Friends nutritionist in Kajiado.

There is an emergency call from the president for both local and international partners to come in and support the government’s efforts to curb this life threatening situation.