Report says 19 counties have recovered from long drought


Genevieve Oduor (left) with a section of DRIC beneficiaries. [Bruno Mutunga, Standard]

Nineteen counties have recovered from the effects of the devastating drought experienced in the past two years.

The National Drought Management Agency (NDMA) says only one county is still on the alert stage.

In its recent drought monitoring report, the agency cited recent rains in parts of the country as the main cause for the recovery though the number of people in need of food support remains at over four million.

The latest data from the authority show Isiolo, Marsabit and Kwale were in the recovery phase while Taita Taveta was in the alert stage.

This came as the authority noted that most Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) counties were forecast to be under generally sunny and dry conditions.

In the report released on Tuesday, the authority noted that Embu, Lamu, Kajiado, Tharaka Nithi, Wajir, Samburu, Mandera, Nyeri, Baringo, Kilifi, Tana River, West Pokot, Turkana, Garissa, Kitui, Laikipia, Meru, Makueni and Narok are in normal drought.

“Six counties reported an improving trend in June, while another 15 recorded a stable trend and two counties reported a worsening trend,” said the report.

Cash transfers

The monthly report further noted acute malnutrition among children below five years, pregnant and lactating women across the ASAL counties.

“The number of people in need of relief assistance stands at 4.4 million and there is a need for provision of food assistance and regular cash transfers targeting food insecure homesteads,” it adds.

On pastures, NMDA said 74 per cent of ASAL counties had shown improvement in the browse adding that the current pasture and browse conditions were above normal.

“This is a great improvement compared to May and the regeneration is attributed to performance of the March to May long rains,” said the authority.

Despite the recovery in pastures, the authority noted an increase in livestock diseases in Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Baringo, Turkana, Kajiado, Kilifi, Meru North, Narok, and West Pokot.

The diseases include unconfirmed cases of Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP), Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Pest Petis Ruminants (PPR), and foot and mouth (FMD) disease.

Further, the authority called for rehabilitation and maintenance of water facilities, provision of water treatment tablets, and provision of water storage tanks for roof catchment rainwater harvesting.

“Pastoralists who had left their homes should be facilitated in safe migration to their settlements and the treatment and vaccination of their livestock against emerging diseases,” said the report.

Earlier, Arid and Semi-Arid Lands Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano said the government had released an additional Sh2 billion to secure relief food and distribution for affected counties.

She said NDMA would provide livestock feed supplements and implement water-related interventions with funding from the National Drought Emergency Fund (NDEF) and the European Union.