2.49m could starve by April, says Red Cross
Of 1.3 million facing starvation, the government is helping about 930,000, leaving more than 370,000 hungry, says official
Close to 2.5 million Kenyans are at risk of starving by April next year, the Kenya Red Cross Society has said.
Secretary general Abbas Gullet on Friday said the figure is likely to rise from the current 1.3 million Kenyans to 2.49 million, as a result of drier weather and drought caused by La Niña.
He said malnutrition in 11 counties is either “extremely critical or serious”. “Malnutrition levels are escalating to emergency levels. There is decline in food stocks and household income inhibiting effective market access,” Gullet said.
He spoke when he received Sh10 million from Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore to fight hunger.
Gullet said Tana River, Garissa and parts of Isiolo counties have recorded massive livestock migration.
Conflicts over resources are breaking out in Marsabit, Tana River, Garissa, Kilifi, West Pokot, Marakwet and Laikipia counties.
Gullet said Garissa, Tana River, Isiolo and Kilifi are currently at a malnutrition tipping point.
He said of 1.3 million facing starvation, the government is helping about 930,000, leaving more than 370,000 still hungry.
Turkana Central has critical malnutrition level of 24.5 per cent, Turkana North ( 30.3 per cent), Turkana South ( 23.4 per cent), North Horr ( 22.8 per cent) and Laisamis ( 22.5 per cent). Others are East, West and Central Mandera subcounties, with malnutrition levels of 22.6 per cent each.
He said they have prioritised interventions in eight counties based on nutrition indicators. The society will support 210,233 people with a focus on the most vulnerable counties of Turkana, West Pokot, Baringo, Garissa, Tana River, Kwale, Kilifi, Marsabit and Samburu.
Gullet said cash transfer is being used to enable targeted households meet immediate essential food and non-food needs, which is estimated cost about Sh371 million.
Women walk to a relief food distribution centre in Pala Kumi, Ganze constituency, on July 22