Close to one million children aged 6-59 months are acutely malnourished according to the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) in drought-hit counties.
In its monthly report for June 2022, NDMA says the drought situation continued to worsen in 19 of the 23 Arid and Semi-Arid counties.
“Acute malnutrition has also been noted across the counties with 942,000 cases of children aged 6-59 months acutely malnourished and 134,000 cases of pregnant or lactating women acutely malnourished and in need of treatment,” the report indicates.
The worrying state is attributed to the poor performance of the 2021 short rains coupled with previous two failed consecutive seasons and early cessation of the 2022 long rains season.
The number of people in need of assistance has increased from 3.5 million in May to 4.1 million in June 2022.
With regards to livestock mortality cases, Turkana County reported 0.17 percent of the total deaths reported.
Out of 3,143442 cattle 1,332 died due to drought, while out of 13,559,892 sheep and goats, 29,589 succumbed to drought. A total of 185 camels out of 949,649 also died in the same period.
Six counties namely Laikipia, Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, Isiolo and Samburu are in Alarm drought phase while 13 counties including Kilifi, Turkana, West-Pokot, Kwale, Meru (North), Embu (Mbeere), Garissa, Kajiado, Kitui, Nyeri (Kieni), Taita-Taveta, Tharaka-Nithi and Tana-River are in Alert drought phase.
The remaining four counties including Baringo, Lamu, Narok and Makueni are in normal drought phase.
The current livestock body condition displayed no major improvement as compared to previous month.
Generally, the current body condition of most livestock is below normal in comparison to similar periods during a normal year. Consequently, most counties reported livestock body condition as fair to poor conditions with exception of Makueni which reported good body condition while three counties (Kajiado, Lamu and West Pokot) reported good body conditions for the goat species.
The fair to poor condition is as a result of the poor performance of the 2021 short rains season and the minimal down pours of the MAM long rains season resulting to little or no regeneration of pasture and browse that has direct impact on livestock body condition.
By Peter Gitonga