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2.1 million Kenyans facing starvation

By Metro Reporter
Kenya Red Cross Society has warned that over 2.1 million people in the country face the risk of death from starvation owing to poor crop yields.

Secretary General Dr Abbas Gullet blamed the poor performance of the long rains season and inter clan and inter tribe skirmishes that resulted in the displacement of persons for the state of affairs.
This comes in the wake of an alert by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network – FEWSNET warning that food prices will continue to be high well into December. In a move reminiscent of the 2011 Kenyans-4-Kenya food relief appeal, the Kenya Red Cross Society has once again appealed to Kenyans to raise funds to aid over two million people facing starvation due to a critical food shortage.
In a report, titled, “Looming Food Security and Malnutrition Crisis,” the KRCS Secretary General indicates that the hardest hit counties are Mandera  698,007 people affected, Turkana (440,000), Wajir (436,765),  Baringo (402,206), Marsabit (65,855) and Samburu( 65,400).
The Kenya Red Cross Society attributed the state of affairs to the poor performance of the March to May 2014 long rains season, which was below average over most parts of the country, resulting in crop failure and poor forage for livestock.
The maize crop in the agro-pastoral areas of Baringo, West Pokot, Laikipia, Narok, and Kajiado Counties and the southeastern and coastal marginal agricultural areas, performed poorly.
The report further details that the nutritional status in the target counties in June and July shows deterioration compared to June 2013, with the worst hit sub-counties including Turkana Central with Global Acute Malnutrition rates – GAM rates of 28.7 per cent, Mandera North 27.3 per cent and Marsabit North/Loiyangalani 29.2 per cent as compared to the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards of 15 per cent.
Dr Gullet says inter tribal and clan conflict which forced many to flee their homes disrupting farming and livestock tending activities has compounded the problem adding that the drought conditions are further aggravating the already sorry situation.
Early last month the Famine Early Warning Systems Network – FEWSNET warned of higher than normal staple food prices.
Areas affected include the south-eastern, marginal, agricultural areas, where food consumption will decrease through to September as households are forced to purchase food at high prices with a limited income this year.
Famine relief assistance can be sent to M-Pesa Paybill No. 10000 Or KCB Account  No.1129605760 Moi Avenue Branch.

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