Kenya Food Shortage

For a moment put aside the traditional images of Kenya as a relatively stable democracy with an extensive tourism industry, and reflect on the droughts that, in recent years, have swept across the Horn of Africa into the east of the country.

In that part of Kenya it literally hasn't rained for years, and with water in short supply, inevitably crops have failed and scores of animals have died creating a serious food shortage that is affecting millions.

Indeed the United Nations World Food Programme reported in the Spring of 2011, the "WFP so far has 44 per cent of the resources it needs to feed 5.22 .

million people in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Karamoja region of eastern Uganda from April through September”. Since then matters have become more desperate

Since the summer of 2011 the area has seen the worst drought in 60 years creating a severe food shortage affecting nearly ten million in the region exacerbated in countries such as Kenya as thousands of Somali refugees have fled across the border to escape the ongoing war in Somalia.

With half of all Kenyans living below the poverty line and increasing desertification, many are reliant on outside aid for food and water.

Better than expected rainfall at the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 brought some relief however by then many subsistence farmers had been forces to eat the grain for next year's harvest. There have been reports of conflicts breaking out over access to grazing lands with a water supply.

Unfortunately the short rains between October to December 2010 were again poor and the drought continued until heavy flooding took place in September 2012.


Kenya Food Shortage

Kenya Food Shortage

Kenya Food Shortage

Kenya Food Shortage


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Kenya Food Shortage

Such flooding could be seen as an end to the drought, however it will inevitably return next year, and ironically, these floods have destroyed what few crops are growing at this time, stoking up more problems for the years to come. The number of children under the age of five now at risk of malnutrition is currently 10-20% higher than seasonal averages. This short video documentary explores the challenge of the Kenya food shortage where an estimated 1.2 million are in chronic need of food assistance out of the total 2.4 million short of food whilst the chart below shows the pending food crisis across the Horn of Africa with much of the area being defined as 'stressed' or in 'crisis'.

Kenya Food Shortage


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