UN report reveals predictable drought, food shortage pattern

The drought conditions from 2017 persisted to 2018, leaving 3.4 million people without food and an estimated 500,000 without access to water. About 482,882 children required treatment for acute malnutrition, including 104,614 who were suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

From March to May, 2018, countrywide above-average long rains, however, changed the trends, improving food security.

In 2019, the drought was experienced from January to March, pushing more counties into the alarm drought stage that affected 20 counties in Asal. By June that year, the Kenya Food Security Steering Group estimated that 1.6 million people were in need of humanitarian food assistance.

However, the conditions improved between October and December as the country experienced one of the wettest short rains seasons.

By February this year, about 3.1 million people suffered acute food insecurity compared to the same period in 2021 when 1.4 million Kenyans were affected. The numbers have continued to rise with deteriorating conditions in 21 out of the 23 Asal counties.

The latest statistics indicate that drought is affecting about 4.5 million people compared to 2.1 million in September 2021.

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