3.4 million Kenyans are at risk of starvation

This latest figures indicate that the food crisis in the country is far from over.

“Out of the 3.4 million facing starvation, 2.6 million are experiencing “crisis” levels while an estimated 800,000 are in “stressed” levels with the likelihood of deteriorating into crisis.” The agency said in its latest report.

The government body stated that millions of Kenyans will require humanitarian assistance as a result in its survey on the impact of the 2017 March-May long rains in arid and semi-arid (Asal) counties.

Compared to last year where 2.6 million people were identified as being at risk of starvation, this latest figures represents a significant increase indicating that the food crisis in the country is far from over.

Last year, short rains failed resulting in prices of maize flour shooting up to an all time high of Sh153 for a a 2 Kg packet of maize flour, forcing some hungry Kenyans to invade Uganda before government intervened through a subsidy program that lowered the price to Sh90.

The NDMA report comes on the backdrop of another depressing news from the Kenya Meterological Department who have predicted that the October-December short rains will cease at a critical stage when the maize crop will be flowering, signaling fresh food shortage.

“Projections by KMD that short rains at Kenya’s bread basket end in mid-December mean that the rains will stop when most crops are flowering and are at a vulnerable stage,” said Anthony Kioko, the Cereal Growers Association chief executive.

The  report indicates short rains in Kenya’s bread basket counties of North Rift counties are expected in the second week of October to the second week of December.

Farmers have been urged to plan accordingly and store enough water to last through them through the planting season as well as grow drought tolerant and early maturing crops to shield themselves from losses.

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