Kenya’s food security is expected to remain stable or improve
slightly during March-May long rains season, a study on food
security showed Monday.
The Famine Early
Warning Systems (FEWS Net), an agency which provides early
warning and analysis on food insecurity, says rainfall across
Kenya has been light and erratic, but it is expected the March
to May long rains will be fully established by early April and
an on-time harvest is still likely.
“The long rains
are forecast to be near average in cumulative amount,
partially influenced by the on-going El Nino. Household food
security is expected to improve slightly in most pastoral
areas, starting in April, as the long rains restore pasture
and water resources,” says the report.
The report comes as
much anticipated long rains season has began across Kenya,
pounding several parts of the East Africa nation.
Heavy downpours late
last week saw various roads flooded while embankments that have
blocked free flow of water had the walls broken and the rain
water allowed to move.
Head of Forecasting
at the Kenya Meteorological Service Samuel Mwangi confirmed that
the onset of the long rains has now begun and urged county
governments to unclog the sewers so as to prevent disruptions to
transport within cities and towns.
According to the
Kenya Meteorological Service, lower temperatures are expected in
most parts of the country due to the onset of the rainy season
that has also seen the skies overcast with clouds.
“The clouds are
helping to prevent direct insulation that has been occasioned
by the open skies and direct heating from the sun’s rays,”
According to FEWS
Net, despite slight improvements in food security conditions,
the majority of pastoral households will remain Stressed.
security in marginal agricultural areas is likely to remain
stable, supported by the previous above-average short rains
harvest,” FEWS Net said.
The report notes
that agricultural wage labor is available at typical levels,
with land preparation ongoing and dry planting in some areas.
Most households will
remain in None through at least June when the green harvest will
According to the
Kenya Food Security Steering Group’s (KFSSG) short rains
assessment, the number of food insecure people requiring
immediate humanitarian assistance declined to roughly 640,000
people, a 41 percent decrease in the past six months.
The report says
household food security has improved across most pastoral areas
after the above-average short rains, influenced by the ongoing
El Nino, supported favourable rangeland conditions.
continue to graze near homesteads and, as a result, households
have access to livestock products. Some pastoral households have
improved to None but the majority remain Stressed.
The report says food
security throughout this time will be supported by adequate
availability of both household and market food stocks following
the above-average long rains harvest in high- and medium-
potential areas, and the expected above-average short rains
harvest from marginal agricultural areas in southeastern,
western, and central Kenya.