Sunday, October 24, 2021

IRC: 2.1 million Kenyans face hunger due to drought

The International Rescue Committee says that more than two million Kenyans are suffering from hunger due to less rain. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta this month declared a national disaster due to the drought.

Thirty-six-year-old Suleman Ahmed Usman lost 50% of his livestock to drought in the last six months. He says that more people are dying now because of the drought.

“When we have lost such a number of animals, there is no other source of income,” he said. “To source our daily food because we got milk and meat, sometimes the animals were sold to sell other food, sugar and other things. Now that the animals have become very emaciated, someone buys them. Can’t, can’t milk because drought has affected them to such an extent that no milk can come from the animal.”

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) says that Kenya received insufficient rainfall during October to December 2020 and March to May 2021, leading to the current drought conditions.

The IFRC report said that the arid and semi-arid regions received less than 50% of the average rainfall in June. Three counties in northeastern Kenya received less than 25% of the average rainfall.

Abdullahi Musa has been buying cattle feed and water for more than 100 of his cattle in Garissa on the Kenya and Somalia border for four months.

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He said, “There are two groups of cattle herders. Drought in Kenya has affected them, there are people who crossed to Somalia to get pasture but came back due to lack of water. I am one of those who are so much. I am not affected. I have lost some animals but most of them are alive. But 90% of the cattle ranchers have lost their animals. They got nothing.”

The International Rescue Committee says 2.1 million people in Kenya are now food insecure.

The head of the organization in Kenya, Mohamed El Montasir Hossain, says he is concerned about the growing humanitarian situation in 20 of the 47 counties.

“Our concern is the prolonged drought situation in Kenya as a whole and the prolonged aspect of drought that is frequent in the years to come and the increasing humanitarian needs as people move from their homes to places closer to water sources. Let’s go looking for it,” he said.

The IRC says climate change is the main driver of the region’s recurring droughts and locust outbreaks.

Kenya’s National Drought Management Authority predicts that the state of food insecurity will persist through the end of the year.

The Drought Management Authority says that if there is rain in the affected areas in the next three months, then the fate of the people can change.


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