In Kenya 2.7 million need food assistance

According to the report, many of those affected are the elderly, the sick, mothers and children under the age of five.

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The number of Kenyans in need of relief assistance has risen from 1.3 million in August 2016 to 2.7 million in January 2017.

This followed shortage of rainfall in 2016.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said in a report released on Monday.

According to the report, many of those affected are the most vulnerable, elderly, the sick, mothers and children under the age of five.

“The number represents approximately 20 per cent of the population in pastoral areas and 18 per cent in marginal agricultural areas."

“The current drought phase classification indicates that the trend is worsening in most counties,” the NDMA said.

The East African nation is facing a prolonged drought which experts have warned can worsen food security unless an appropriate action is taken to alleviate the situation.

According to findings of the just-concluded assessment of the 2016 short rainfall, the most affected sectors are food, livestock and water.

The situation continues to deteriorate rapidly, particularly in nine arid counties in northern Kenya.

The report, carried out by the Kenya Food Security Steering Group, came after the Kenyan Government said on Monday it had enough food supply to cater for all Kenyans facing starvation.

Deputy President William Ruto said the government had channeled 16 million dollars toward the purchase of assorted food supplies to be distributed to affected Kenyans.

He dismissed claims that the government had imported maize to help deal with the challenge of starvation instead of buying the local produce.

“The assorted food that the government has dispatched to the affected areas including maize, beans, rice among other items was bought from our local farmers,” said Ruto.

He said the government had put in place measures to ensure that the distribution of food was above board, adding that regional security bosses would oversee the exercise.

“We will ensure that these food items will reach intended beneficiaries working with regional leaders and local community leaders. We will ensure that no Kenyan loses his or her life because of hunger.’’ 

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