from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – MORE than 2,1 million Kenyans are facing acute food insecurity in the next six months due to the poor rainfall and low crop production.
Humanitarian groups are concerned at the rising needs following months of droughts in the East African country.
This has evoked memories of the famine a decade ago. It was the worst in decades.
“This drought is reminiscent of the great famine of 2011,” lamented Mohammed El Montassir Hussein, local director of the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
He expressed concern at the growing humanitarian needs as people moved out of the hometowns in search of places closer to water sources.
“Livestock are dying and men, women and children are going hungry and thirsty.”
Across the eastern and southern parts of the country the rains received were as little as 51 percent of what is expected.
At the beginning of September, President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the drought a national disaster following a national rainfall report.
IRC said climate change was the main driver of the erratic and recurring droughts.
It has been partly attributed to the recent locust outbreaks in East Africa, causing widespread food insecurity.
IRC fears the rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns are likely to exacerbate the spread of vector-borne diseases such as dengue and malaria.
It lamented the lack of access to clean water will lead to higher incidence of diarrhea, a major cause of death for children aged under five.
“Coupled with the destruction of fragile ecosystems, the changing climate has a profound impact on the occurrence of viruses like COVID-19 that emerge from animals,” Hussein said.
– CAJ News