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

The Star (Kenya) - - News General - GIL­BERT KOECH @KoechJu­nior_1

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.

/ALPHONCE GARI

Women walk to a re­lief food dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre in Pala Kumi, Ganze con­stituency, on July 22

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