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Tighten your belt, drought is still here-OCHA alerts Isiolo, Meru

21 counties which include Meru, Isiolo and Tharaka Nithi Counties are still staring at death due to ravaging droughts despite reported rains in most part of the Country-United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has reported.

According to OCHA about 4.4 Million people are still in need of relief assistance due to drought.

“Despite the reported rains in most parts of the country in the last Dekad of March, the rains are yet to impact on production systems. The drought situation thus remains critical in twenty-two (22) of the 23 ASAL counties during the month of March 2023. The number of people in need of assistance currently stands at 4.4 million following the short rains (SRA) 2022 food security assessment,” part of the report by OCHA read.

The report further indicates that Marsabit and Turkana Counties are in the Emergency phase while Isiolo, Mandera, Kajiado, Samburu, Tana River, Wajir, Kilifi, and Kitui Counties are in the Alarm drought phase.

Other Eleven Counties which include Meru, Baringo, Embu, Garissa, Lamu, Makueni, Laikipia, Narok, Nyeri, Kwale, and Taita Taveta are listed in the Alert drought phase while West Pokot and Tharaka Nithi are in Normal drought phase.

According to the report acute malnutrition has also been noted across the counties with 970,214 children aged 6 to 59 months and 142,179 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers malnourished and acutely in need of treatment.

OCHA added that the reported rains in most of the arid counties are associated with flush floods which had negative impacts on the local livelihoods and critical facilities like roads.

Earlier last month the Kenya Meteorological Department warned that below-average rainfall should be expected over the highlands west, central, and south of the Rift Valley, all of which are key farming regions.

The region covers Trans Nzoia and Uasin Gishu counties, which are considered Kenya’s bread baskets and contribute a large share of the country’s maize production.

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