Kenya: Acute Food Insecurity Situation February 2014
01.02.2014 > 28.02.2014


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A total of 23 counties were covered by the assessment that was conducted in February 2014. The aim of the assessment was to evaluate the performance and impacts of the October to December 2013 short rains on water quality and access, crop and livestock production, health and nutrition, markets and trade, and education. In addition, considerations were given to the manner and extent to which shocks such as conflicts, floods, crop pests and high food prices, together with ongoing food and non-food interventions were affecting the level of food availability and household food access.

Food security remained stable between August 2013 and February 2014 although with few exceptional areas. In much of the pastoral northeast including Isiolo, Garissa, Mandera, Wajir, and Tana River Counties; much of the southeastern and coastal marginal and coastal strip including Taita Taveta, Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu Counties, food security remained Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between August 2013 and February 2014. Some pockets improved to better or drifted to poorer food security situation. The areas which improved include the lower parts of Makueni County which, between August 2013 and February 2014 improved to Minimal Phase (IPC Phase 1) due to the effects of the October-December short rains. In these areas, the rainfall was not as poor as projected and the performance of drought resistance crops such as green grams and cowpeas which are usually for sale, was relatively good. The western parts of Kitui County drifted from Minimal Phase (IPC Phase 1) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in February 2014 due to a significantly below average performance of the short rains.

Notable areas that drifted from stressed phase (IPC Phase 2) to crisis phase (IPC Phase 3) between August 2013 and February 2014 included the central parts of Turkana including Kaaling and Loima; and western parts of Marsabit including North Horr and Loiyangalani. In Turkana, the drift was driven by earlier than normal migration that left the elderly, mothers and children with limited milk availability and limited their sources of income. Conflicts around and within Turkana County borders also contributed to the situation by constraining market access for livestock and thus reducing the sales volumes. In Marsabit, the main factor driving the deterioration in food security was conflict besides the decline in available pasture and browse. Conflicts in Marsabit hindered humanitarian assistance besides constraining access to watering points, pasture and browse for livestock. 

The overall aim of the assessments was to provide an objective, evidence-based, unbiased, and transparent food security situation analysis following the short rains season of 2013, by taking into account the cumulative effect of previous seasons on key food and nutrition security indicators. Moreover, the assessment aim to give a timely food security prognosis as well as provide recommendations for possible response options.

The main factors driving food insecurity are:

  • below average performance of short rains in some areas
  • earlier than normal migration that left the elderly, mothers and childern with limited milk availability and limite sources of income
  • conflicts which contribute to restricting market access for livestock thus reducing sales volumes
  • decline in available pasture and browse

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