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Publication | 2020

Kenya: Acute Food Insecurity and Acute Malnutrition Situation February - March 2020 and Projection for April - July 2020

In the analysis period of February 2020, 1.3 million people (9 % of the population analyzed) are estimated to have faced Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food Insecurity, of which 296,500 people faced Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity in Isiolo, Kilifi, Kwale, Turkana, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu and Wajir; 1,022,500 people are faced Crisis (IPC Phase 3) mainly in 19 counties out of the 23. In the projection period of April-July 2020, 980,000 people (6% of the population analyzed) will likely face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity, with 112,500 people in the counties of Kwale, Turkana and Marsabit estimated to be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

The most acute food insecurity conditions were observed in the flood-affected counties that led to overspread damage and loss of livelihoods in Meru, Taita Taveta as well as West Pokot where there were reported loss of lives and population displacement resulting from heavy storms and landslides. This was due to prolonged and above average rainfall during October-December rains. Livestock disease outbreaks were widespread in Baringo, Embu, Garissa, Isiolo, Kajiado, Kitui, Meru, Narok, Taita, Samburu, Tana River and Wajir that slightly reduced livestock production. The invasion of desert locust in December 2019 affected crops, pasture and browse in Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Isiolo, Garissa, Kitui, Tana River, Kajiado, Makueni, Baringo, Turkana, Embu, Tharaka Nithi, Samburu, Makueni, and Meru. The impact of the damage of desert locusts on livelihoods was minimal and localized in the current analysis as most of the planted crops were at maturity stage or harvested.

The cumulative effects of flooding with associated population displacements, infestation of desert locusts and outbreaks of livestock diseases led to acute food insecurity. Flooding rendered roads impassable affecting functionality of markets and ultimately food accessibility. There were significant crop losses as a result of flooding, damage of pasture and browse by desert locust as well as outbreak of livestock diseases in majority of counties that included Foot and Mouth Disease, Lumpy Skin Disease, East Coast Fever, Contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP). It is projected that the long rains (March-April-May) will be normal to above normal, which is likely to increase to crop production and good pasture and browse. However, in the projected period (April to July); flooding and outbreak of livestock diseases are expected. The desert locusts continue to lay eggs in most of the counties. Due to the upcoming cropping season in April, in a worst-case scenario where operations fail to be intensified to control the desert locusts, it is expected that they are likely to cause massive crop damage as well as significant pasture and browse destruction.