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(File photo) Dry and arid (File photo) Dry and arid 

More than 1 million people face hunger as rains fail in Kenya

Assessments conducted by Kenya’s Catholic Church, government and humanitarian agencies and reports from local media indicate that as of this month, March, the food insecure population in that country has reached 1,111,500 people.

National Communication Network News - Nairobi

Speaking in Nairobi, Wednesday, The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) President, Archbishop Philip Anyolo (Kisumu Archdiocese) and President of Caritas Kenya Archbishop Martin Kivuva (Archdiocese of Mombasa) said that a poor rainy season is threatening to culminate into a major humanitarian crisis. The Church of this East African country is now calling for an urgent response from all actors.

The food security situation in Kenya has deteriorated following the poor performance of the 2018 rains. This has led to below average crop performance. The 12 most affected counties are Turkana, Baringo, Mandera, Garissa, Kilifi, Tana River, West Pokot, Marsabit, Makueni, Kajiado, Kwale and Isiolo. These areas are said to have 865,300 people now in need of food aid.

With crop failure, cases of malnutrition have increased

The higher than average day-time temperatures currently being experienced in Kenya have led to the rapid drying of dams, water pans and other water sources. Cases of Malnutrition have rapidly increased in the affected areas. Similarly, Livestock is severely affected.  

The main humanitarian needs include food, water, nutrition supplements, livestock feeds, early recovery and restoration of livelihoods support in drought-hit communities.

Church appeals to the faithful in Kenya for donations

The two Archbishops recognise that government is doing something about the situation but feels that more needs to be done.

“We appreciate efforts made by the national and county governments to remedy the situation. However, many families still remain at risk of starvation. We call upon the Government (national and county) and other humanitarian agencies to continue the work they are doing to support communities in distress,” the Archbishops have said.

The climate-related drought situation in the country has led the Church in Kenya to raise the alarm and appeal to all the faithful and people of good-will, to join hands in solidarity by donating funds, food and non-food items to save lives. Caritas Kenya, the development and humanitarian arm of the church, will coordinate this initiative.

20 March 2019, 14:07