Kenyans in need of humanitarian aid to increase as drought persists

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KILIFI, KENYA - NOVEMBER 13: A Kenyan man inspects a dead animal as their crops become useless and hundreds of animals perished due to droughty at Bamba town of Kilifi in Kenya on November 13, 2016. (Photo by Recep Canik/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
KILIFI, KENYA – NOVEMBER 13: A Kenyan man inspects a dead animal as their crops become useless and hundreds of animals perished due to droughty at Bamba town of Kilifi in Kenya on November 13, 2016. (Photo by Recep Canik/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The number of Kenyans in need of humanitarian aid could increase this year, the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) has warned.

In a statement, NDMA said the number of people considered to be in need of immediate humanitarian assistance increased by about 90% overall from 739,000 recorded in August 2020 to 1,425,000 in February 2021.

The 2020 National Food and Nutrition Security Assessment further indicates an overall worsened situation greatly influenced by the poor performance of the October to December rainfall season.

The situation has also been aggravated by other factors during the season including the COVID-19 pandemic, crop pests including the desert locusts’ invasion, food commodity price spikes, and livestock diseases.

The survey, conducted by the Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG) led by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), further indicates that Lamu, Kwale, and Kilifi in coastal marginal agriculture zones had the highest increase of people in IPC phase three, recording double the numbers that had been established under this category during the long rains assessment (LRA) in August 2020.

The situation is also expected to worsen towards August due to the relatively poor forecast of the long-rains season between March and May.

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