Kenya: Assessing the impact of 2012 long rains
NAIROBI [ACTED News] - Following mixed and generally below-average March to May long rains in Northern Kenya, the Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG) comprised of the Government of Kenya and humanitarian actors is beginning to assess the impact of the long rains in order to put mitigation measures in place. According to the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET), the lean season may start earlier than usual with livestock migrations already starting in some parts of North-Eastern Kenya due to water shortages and poor pasture conditions. Moreover, there is likely to be below-average harvests this season owing to a combination of poor rainfall in the South-Eastern and coastal areas, flooding in Western Kenya, and the outbreak of the highly contagious Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease in the South Rift Valley province, the grain basket of Kenya. This may result in continuing above-average food prices, causing deterioration of household purchasing power and food security. ACTED is closely monitoring key indicators for a food security crisis and putting in place contingency measures while conducting activities aimed at improving resilience for vulnerable agro-pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya, with support from USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the European Commission Department for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection.