NAIROBI, Kenya – The drought situation in Kenya is getting worse by the day and it is expected to worsen in the coming months.
Experts are now warning that 10 percent of the country’s population is in great need of food aid.
The National Drought Authority revealed that the number of people in need of help could rise to six million by early next year.
Vice President Rigathi Gachagua revealed that the new administration has spent $160 million in relief efforts but will still require another $170 million required between now and January.
Gachagua “These funds will go towards supporting livelihood projects, food security efforts as well as lowering new and rehabilitating old water troughs and dams around the country.”
Kenya National Drought Authority [NDMA] stated that the long-awaited rains would reduce the effect of the drought but this has not been the case.
“Finally, the clouds have opened. Unfortunately, the short rainy season is expected to underperform, causing a possible fifth failed season that will phase into the seasonal dry season in January to March 2023.” says NDMA.
Humanitarian partners estimate that there will be 6.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance next year in arid and semi-arid countries.
“At least 4.35 million people go to bed hungry and about 5 million people do not have access to enough water for drinking, cooking and cleaning,” the UN estimates.
“Families are taking desperate measures to survive, including fleeing their homes in search of sustenance, and risks to women and girls have increased sharply since the drought began. There are also growing reports of children dropping out of school and cases of child marriage.”
The government is now working closely with local and international partners to reduce funding gaps for programs to combat drought.
“The government and humanitarian partners have stepped up our collective response to save lives and alleviate the suffering caused by this unprecedented drought, but we urgently need more funding to avert a worst-case scenario in 2023,” said
UN data shows 89 humanitarian partners reached nearly 1 million people with vital aid between January and September, complementing the government-led response to the drought.