Experts have warned that drought situation in Kenya could worsen if the country fails to receive enough rains in the coming weeks.
They added that the situation has been worsen by the invasion of desert locust and Covid-19 pandemic.
An assessment by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shows that Kenya might faces crisis in case we do not receive short rains in the last three months of the year.
“If we do not receive short rains in October to December the drought situation in Kenya might escalate into an emergency.” Said NDMA Chief Executive Officer James Oduor.
He said the situation is due to failed short rains in last year October and long rains in March this year.
Oduor cited that lack of the rains in the two cumulative seasons has led to lack of access to water, poor quality of pasture, long maize growth process, low milk production and malnutrition of children.
Hamisi Williams, FAO Programmes Coordinator, said that the agency has initiated response to mitigate the situation. The response initiatives include sustaining markets for animals, provision of animal feeds and water.
The 10 counties on drought alert are Garissa, Isiolo, Kilifi, Kitui, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana, and Wajir.
Other counties at risk of severe drought include Baringo, Kajiado, Kwale, Laikipia, Lamu, Makueni, Meru, Taita Taveta, Tharaka Nithi and West Pokot.
Embu, Narok and Nyeri are facing a low risk of severe drought, according to the government, which in conjunction with FAO, is seeking Sh8.7 billion for intervention activities such as food and safety nets, health and nutrition, provision of water, improvement of agriculture, peace and security, and drought coordination.
Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa hinted that the government has set aside Sh.2 billion to be used in mitigating the drought.
The CS added a multi-agency team had been set up to address the situation.
Adapted from The Standard.