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Kenya: Acute Food Insecurity and Acute Malnutrition Situation in July 2017 and Projection for August - October 2017

01/07/2017 - 31/10/2017

There are approximately 2.6 million people classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), of which 0.5 million are already in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) but do not meet the threshold of more than 20 percent of the population being in this Phase, for the areas to be classified in Phase 4. The counties classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) are Turkana, Marsabit, West Pokot, Samburu, Isiolo and Lamu, as well as parts of Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Baringo, Laikipia, Kilifi and Kwale. Households in this category are marginally able to meet their minimum food needs but only by more rapidly depleting their assets and thus undermining their food consumption. In the absence of adequate cross-sectoral interventions, more areas and households in these counties are expected to fall into this phase by October 2017.

Most households categorised in this phase are consuming 1-2 meals per day, consisting mainly of cereals and pulses, and consuming fewer of the other food groups and less frequently. Household food stocks cannot last for one month. Malnutrition rates are high and likely to continue deteriorating, especially in pastoral areas in the north-east. Food prices are significantly above the five-year average as livestock prices decline, compromising household purchasing power and limiting access to food.

There are approximately 0.8 million people classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Most parts of the south-east and coastal marginal agricultural areas, as well as Kajiado, parts of Baringo and Narok, and parts of Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Tana River and Marsabit, are classified in this phase. Households in this category can afford minimally adequate food consumption but are unable to afford essential non-food expenditures without engaging in irreversible coping strategies. More people in this category are expected to fall into Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between August and October, except in the south-east marginal agricultural areas and in Narok and Kajiado where they are likely to remain in Stressed.

Most of these areas received below-average rainfall that was unevenly distributed. As a result, crop production is expected to be only 25 percent and 50 percent of the long-term average (LTA) in the south-east and agro-pastoral areas respectively. Staple food prices have been rising and are now 35-45 percent above the LTA in the coast and 50-80 percent above the LTA in the south-east. Household food stocks are less than 15 percent of the LTA due to below-normal production during the 2016 short rains season. More than 60 percent of households still have acceptable food consumption, but they are engaging in coping strategies that limit their ability to meet their non-food needs. Although malnutrition rates are acceptable in the south-east, coast, and parts of the agro-pastoral areas, they are likely to deteriorate towards the height of the lean season and into October.


Acute Malnutrition Analysis

The IPC for Acute Malnutrition conducted in July 2017 reported a Very Critical nutrition situation (Phase 5; GAM WHZ ≥30 percent) in Turkana Central, Turkana North, Turkana South, and North Horr in Marsabit. The rates of acute malnutrition in Turkana are comparable to those during the 2011 crisis, with the highest Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) of 37 percent recorded in Turkana South.

A Critical nutrition situation (Phase 4; GAM WHZ 15.0 - 29.9 percent) was reported in East Pokot (Baringo), Samburu, West Pokot, Turkana West, Garissa, Wajir, and Mandera, while Laikipia reported a Serious nutrition situation (Phase 3; GAM WHZ 10.0 -14.9 percent). Moyale and Saku in Marsabit were classified as Alert (Phase 2; GAM WHZ ≥ 5 to 9.9 percent), while Narok, Kajiado, Makueni, Mbeere, Kwale, and Kilifi were Acceptable (Phase 1; GAM WHZ <5% percent).


The main contributing factor to these malnutrition rates is household food insecurity, caused by low milk availability and food stocks and high food prices. Other factors include common illnesses such as diarrhea, disease outbreaks, low coverage of supplementation programmes, poor child feeding practices, and poor water and hygiene practices. Pre-existing factors such as high poverty rates, low literacy, poor access to health facilities and frequent shocks aggravate the situation. There is a risk of further deterioration in most counties in the coming months as the food security situation worsens.


Download the full 2017 Long Rains Assessment National Report below >>>>>>>>>>>

Food Security ClustersFEWS NETFAOThe Comité permanent Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse dans le Sahel (CILSS)CARE InternationalACF
The World Food Programme (WFP)unicefSICASave the ChildrenOxfamThe Joint research Center (JRC) of the European CommissionIGAD