Kenya Drought: A call to action

Media Briefing note

Graphic by Cyril Wanguba
Paper author: 
Paper publication date: 
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

5.6 million affected by drought and more than 3.4 million in need of food assistance in Kenya.

By the end of September more than 5.6 Million were affected by the drought, including 3.4 million who are food insecure and 2.6 million severely food insecure. In the pastoral areas, food insecurity is projected to increase as livelihood resources continue to deteriorate through at least mid-October. Food prices remain 30-40% above average with food insecurity expected to peak in October. 

Nutrition surveys in some ASAL countries indicate that the prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) outcomes for children under five years of age is “Extremely Critical[1].  Decreasing income is likely to further reduce food access and consumption at the household level. Reports indicate that households in Wajir County are experiencing ‘Crisis’ (IPC Phase 3), whilst households in Turkana (Turkana East, Turkana South, and Turkana North) are facing ‘Emergency’ (IPC Phase 4).

Oxfam is delivering lifesaving cash transfers to 36,000 people in Wajir and Turkana. Our work to improve access to safe water with its local partners (the Diocese of Lodwar in Turkana, ALDEF and WASDA in Wajir) is reaching over 320,000 men, women, boys and girls. With the drought worsening and coping mechanisms being exhausted, Oxfam plans to further scale up its response. Oxfam’s response in funded by DEC, European Union humanitarian aid, UNICEF and Oxfam appeals.

A ravaging crisis of this magnitude has not been greeted with the required commitments. Only 43% funding has been secured for the UN coordinated flash appeal launched in March 2017. Kenya is considered a middle-income economy and this status is expected to translate to its capacity to resource the drought response. Although the Government of Kenya has responded to the crisis using its resources, it requires further support.  The international community must step up support to enable the humanitarian community work alongside the government to scale up lifesaving interventions and ensure the situation in Kenya does not deteriorate further in the coming months.


[1] ” GAM weight-for-height z-score measurement, WHZ ≥ 30%