Drought, Famine and Hunger in Kenya

Kenya is a drought, famine and hunger prone country, primarily because of its peculiar eco-climatic conditions. Although dissected by the equator in its southern half, Kenya contains only a few pockets of high and regular rainfall. Arid and semi-arid lands cover 80% of the territory. In these areas, where annual rainfall varies from 200 to 500 mm, periodical droughts are part of the climate system.

Communities living in these ASALs have a good understanding of drought and have developed techniques to characterize major events.

Causes of Drought, Famine and Hunger in Kenya

What is the impact of drought on these communities and on Kenyan society as a whole? How do the populations, the government and the international community respond to famine? What can Kenya expect for the future? These are a few questions I propose to discuss in this article.

Hunger is one of the hurdles that may prevent Kenya from achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs), especially those related to poverty eradication, attainment of food security

Kenya has two rainy seasons – the long rains from mid March to May and the short rains from mid October to mid December. Because of the lack of rain, Water is rationed.

Electrical service are also rationed. Kenya depends heavily on hydroelectric power. The lack of rain has reduced the amount of water available to run the power plants. The power plants cannot generate enough power for everyone. Residential areas have electricity from 6 pm to 6 am and industrial areas have electrical serivce from 6 am to 6 pm. The electricity ration is Monday through Saturday with electrical service all day Sunday.

The impact of the drought is hardest felt in more urban areas like Nairobi, Naivasha, Mombasa, Kisumu, etc. Most of the rural areas of Kenya do not have electrical service at all, thus they are not affected by the loss of power

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