Destroyed Farmland Causes Millions of Kenyans to Face Acute Food Insecurity

Agricultural production in Kenya is up to 66% below average for all crops due to rainfall that has been drastically decreased this year. The phenomenon has caused food insecurity to millions of Kenyans who rely on farming to meet their food needs.

Kenya crisis.
Millions of Kenyans face acute food insecurity. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

ACTNews, KENYA – Rainfall has been dropping drastically in Kenya. In several regions including Lamu Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu, Garissa, Kilifi, and Taita Taveta, the rainfall only reaches 26 percent from the normal rate. On September 8, 2021, President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta officially declared drought in parts of Kenya a national disaster.

The current drought drastically reduced the production of agricultural products. Many crops died due to a lack of water. Currently, gricultural production in Kenya is up to 66% below the average for all crops due to rainfall that has been drastically decreased this year.

This condition has greatly affected the Kenyans because many people living in these areas rely heavily on crops as a source of nutrition and livelihoods especially Turkana and Garissa which both are refugee-hosting regions that put the already vulnerable refugees.

Livestock breeders also suffer from high losses. They can hardly feed their livestock due to limited animal feed and water for them to drink. Livestock products including milk and meat are also reportedly reduced due to drought.

Currently, over 2 million Kenyans are facing acute food insecurity in the next 6 months. The number is expected to rise if the Kenyans can not receive humanitarian aid including water and food.

Furthermore, the country in which 10 percent of the population is Muslims is currently experiencing a severe Covid-19 pandemic. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of Tuesday (10/5/2021), there are more than 250 thousand cases of Covid-19 in Kenya with over 5 thousand casualties.

The pandemic has worsened the economic sector in Kenya. High food prices coupled with declining livestock prices have impacted negatively on households’ ability to buy basic necessities. []