Kenya: Acute Food Insecurity Situation for January 2017 and February - April 2017
IPC Acute Food Insecurity situation extracted from the Kenya 2016 short rains assessment
01.01.2017 > 30.04.2017



& next steps


Parts of the pastoral areas of Turkana, Marsabit, West Pokot, Baringo, Wajir, Mandera, Tana River and Garissa, and parts of the coastal marginal agricultural areas of Kilifi and Lamu, are experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes. 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.

Households in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) are able to afford minimally adequate food consumption but are unable to afford essential non-food expenditures without engaging in irreversible coping strategies. These households are mostly found in the south-eastern and coastal marginal agricultural areas, as well as some pastoral and agro-pastoral areas of Narok, Kajiado, Laikipia, Kieni, Baringo and West Pokot counties. These areas received 50 – 90 percent of normal rainfall, but the temporal and spatial distribution was very poor and the season ended early. As a result, crop production fell by up to 70 percent below the five-year average.

Nutrition IPC Classification

Compared with August 2016, the nutrition situation has improved in Turkana South but deteriorated in Turkana North, Isiolo, Mandera and Marsabit. It is expected to worsen across all arid and semi-arid counties until April 2017 as the dry spell continues and household food access and availability further reduce. The worsening nutritional status is largely the result of poor dietary intake and the high incidence of disease. This is compounded by the chronic challenges of these areas, such as limited access to quality health services, poor water, sanitation and hygiene, and inappropriate child care and feeding practices, which increase vulnerability to acute malnutrition.

Food Security Prognosis, February – July 2017

In all pastoral areas, food security is likely to continue worsening. Areas currently experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes will continue in that state until April, while additional areas may join them. The onset of the long rains in late March 2017, which are projected to be normal to below normal, will bring some reprieve.

Most households are expected to be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between May and June, although some households in localized areas, especially in Marsabit, Turkana, Mandera and parts of Garissa, will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). However, if the long rains are significantly below average, it’s unlikely that recovery from the current food insecurity outcomes will occur, and Crisis outcomes might continue throughout, with some households likely to experience Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes.

In the south-eastern and coastal marginal agricultural areas, household food security is also expected to decline.Most households are expected to remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2), with the exception of localized parts of Kilifi (parts of Ganze, Kaloleni, and Malindi) and Lamu (eastern parts) that will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

Main Driving Factors for Food Insecurity and Malnutrition in the analyzed period

  • Delayed onset of fall rains in most pastoral and marginal agricultural areas
  • Early stop of rainfall in December
  • crop pests and livestock diseases
  • resource-based conflict and insecurity. The major effects of the conflicts were market disruptions, inaccessible pasture and water, loss of assets, and displacement of households.
  • hotter-than-usual land surface temperatures 
  • cumulative effectrs of previous poor rainy seasons

The onset of the long rains is expected to provide some reprieve, but mainly in water and forage for livestock. The long rains season is not the main season for crop production in these areas, and is therefore unlikely to result in significant improvements in food security. Most households will remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) until July 2017.

The key factors to monitor over the next six months include:

  • Likelihood of increased conflict over rangeland resources
  • Staple food prices
  • Likelihood of increased livestock mortality before the onset of the long rains
  • Unfolding refugee situations in Daadab and Kakuma camps
  • Impacts of programmes and interventions.


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