The number of Kenyans in need of humanitarian assistance stands at 1.5 million, with a majority of them having been affected by floods caused by the recent El Nino rains, the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) said in a report on Thursday.
“An assessment of the impact of the 2023 long rainy season on food and nutrition security projected that the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance during the October 2023 to January 2024 period would drop to 1.5 million from 2.8 million in July 2023,” NDMA said. The agency in the latest assessment released in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi attributed the decline to the positive impact of the 2023 March to May long rains season. The agency, however, noted that the negative effects of the El Nino rains have undermined the food and nutrition security situation, especially in arid and semi-arid areas, which were worst affected by floods leading to the 1.5 million people in need of food assistance. NDMA said the situation has been worsened by the destruction of the road and communication network, which has limited the flow of food and other essential commodities in local markets. Due to both the 2023 long rains season and El Nino rains, the agency said there is no drought in Kenya currently, with all the 23 arid and semi-arid areas experiencing improved vegetation conditions.
Kenya is among the countries in the Horn of Africa that were affected by drought and heavy rains in 2023 in a span of a few months, which increased the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance. The drought left 23.4 million people facing hunger and 5.1 million children acutely malnourished in the Horn of Africa region, which includes Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, according to the World Food Program. On the other hand, floods caused by El Nino rains killed at least 300 people, displaced thousands more and destroyed crops in more than 600,000 hectares in Somalia, Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.