2.4m threatened by acute food shortage

Women wait for relief food at a distribution centre in Serewo village, Kongelai Division of West Pokot District during a distribution exercise by the Keya Red Cross Society. 422 families benefited. PHOTO / JARED NYATAYA

What you need to know:

  • New report says urgent measures need to be taken to avert crisis as figure rises from 1.6m

More than 2.4 million Kenyans are on the verge of starvation if urgent measures are not taken, a new report says.

An assessment carried out in 30 districts by the Kenya Food Security Steering Group showed the number of hungry people had risen from the 1.6 million who were food insecure last August.

The report, funded by the Government, Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Food Programme was prepared by the Office of the Prime Minister, ministries of Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands, Agriculture, Livestock Development, Fisheries, Water and Irrigation, Public Health and Sanitation, Medical Services and Education.

A Ministry of Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands official, Mr James Oduor, said in Kabarnet on Tuesday that five teams had been sent to the worst-hit areas like Marsabit, Isiolo, Moyale, Mandera, Wajir and Garissa to distribute food.

He said Turkana and Baringo, with 200,700 and 96,200 people in need of food aid, respectively, would also be covered.

“The deterioration in food security is significant because families were just starting to recover from the 2009 drought,” Mr Oduor said.

He said people in urban areas had not been spared either, with more than 3.5 million going hungry as the rural areas could no longer supply food.

He said more than 678,000 school children had been included in the school feeding programme.


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