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Kenyans urged to brace for drought

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has given a warning that areas in the Horn of Africa, including Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia could be hit by drought.

According to the report, the forecasts for October-December in the countries show a high chance of drier-than-average conditions.

The report also revealed there might be a humanitarian catastrophe in those countries due to continuous failed rainy seasons.

“Sadly, our models show with a high degree of confidence that we are entering the 5th consecutive failed rainy season in the Horn of Africa,” said Guleid Artan, Director of the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), the WMO’s regional climate center for East Africa.

In Kenya, at least 4 million people are affected by the ongoing drought.

There have been short rains in the country, a situation that has greatly affected food production in the country.

The situation has also greatly affected herders in various parts of the country.

Drought has also caused an increase in food prices in the country.

In 2021, President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the drought affecting parts of the country a national disaster.

He also instructed The National Treasury and the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government to spearhead Government efforts to assist affected households including water and relief food distribution as well as livestock uptake.

The government has been issuing cash transfers and food donations to the affected people.

The drought-stricken counties in Kenya include Lamu, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Turkana, Samburu, West Pokot, Baringo, Kajiado, Narok, Laikipia, Nyeri, Embu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Makueni, Kitui, Marsabit, Isiolo, Wajir, Garissa, and Mandera.

One month ago, a report revealed that about 20 percent of Tharaka constituency population were already facing hunger, especially those in the semi-arid parts of Gatunga, Mukothima, Marimanti, Chiakariga and Nkondi wards.

Already, Kenyans have had to tighten their belts following the increase of commodity prices, and especially food.