Up to Four million Kenyans in 23 counties are facing hunger. Of these, 13 are the most affected, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS).
The KRCS said gave the report during the national launch of livestock off-take programme at Makindu in Makueni County.
KRCS Secretary General Dr Asha Mohammed said there were 800,000 children, most of them aged below five, suffering malnutrition. She said the agency was in the process of distributing food supplements.
“In the entire country, we are passing the 800,000 mark of the malnourished children, with Turkana and Marsabit having the highest number,” said Dr Mohammed.
KRCS expressed fear that the number of those facing hunger was likely to rise if October rains fail. “In 2021, we had 2.8 million persons but now we are passing 4 million, and this is expected to grow,” said Mohammed.
The livestock off-take programme is facilitated by the national government through Kenya Meat Commission in partnership with KRCS.
KMC’s Managing Commissioner James Githaga said the agenct will buy, slaughter at site and distribute the meat to vulnerable families.
“We are targeting those weak animals likely to die because of drought. Across our targeted 13 counties, the government will buy and slaughter 26,000 cattle in the next four weeks,” Brigadier Githaga told journalists.
Some residents of Makindu recounted effects of famine on their families. “I do menial jobs daily, but when I don’t get even for a single day, we sleep hungry,” said Sera Muteti, a beneficiary who had turned up to get meat.