NAIROBI, June 13 (Xinhua) -- The number of people facing hunger and starvation in Kenya due to drought has increased to 4.1 million in June from 3.5 million in May, the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) said on Monday in an assessment report.
The government agency noted that the drought situation continued to deteriorate, with the majority of those affected being in 19 out of the 23 arid and semi-arid areas.
"This is attributed to the poor performance of the 2021 short rains coupled with previous two failed consecutive seasons and early cessation of the 2022 long rains season," said the agency.
Six of the affected counties namely Laikipia, Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, Isiolo and Samburu are in alarm drought phase, said the NDMA.
On the other hand, 13 regions including Kilifi, Turkana, West-Pokot, Meru (North), Garissa, Kajiado, Kitui, Taita-Taveta, Tharaka-Nithi and Tana-River are in alert drought phase.
"Acute malnutrition has also been noted across the counties with 942,000 cases of children aged 6-59 months acutely malnourished and 134,000 cases of pregnant or lactating women acutely malnourished in need of treatment," said the agency.
Over a million livestock that comprise camels, cattle, goats and sheep have died in the regions due to drought, with the agency warning that mortalities will increase as the drought situation assumes a worsening trend.
Millions of people across the Horn of Africa are facing starvation and death, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the UN World Food Programme (WFP), and the Famine Early Warning System Network, with the worst affected countries being Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. ■