The last few month have seen Kenyans from the North Rift region suffering from the prolonged drought and the questions looming over everyone’s heads is whether it was a case of ignorance or not.
It has emerged that the Famine Early Warning Systems Network had warned of an impending drought in Kenya as early as December 2018.
The network, which is operated by the US Agency for International Development, warned that some parts of Kenya were likely to experience starvation as a result of smaller harvests in the first few months of 2019.
“Crop production in Somalia and Kenya is expected to be at least 30 per cent below average, and pasture and water availability is likely to be well below average throughout the region.
“Should this forecast come to fruition, historical trends indicate that food security outcomes could rapidly worsen. Humanitarians should prepare for an increase in need throughout 2019,” the network warned.
The reality has now set in with at least 12 counties reportedly facing an unprecedented food crisis that is quickly turning into a national humanitarian disaster.
The worst hit region is Turkana, but the counties of Isiolo, Garissa, Wajir, Kilifi, Baringo, Marsabit, Tana River, Samburu, Mandera, Kitui, and Makueni are also affected.
In Turkana, like in other drought-ravaged regions, the most affected are elderly women and children who are unable to travel long distances to get food rations.
Francis Loropiyae, a community leader in Kamekui, told the Nation that residents first raised the alarm a few weeks ago but no one took them seriously.
Loropiyae stated that some leaders visited them the previous week, but when they tried to raise an alarm the situation, they were silenced.
Similarly, Kerio Delta MCA Peter Ekaru, whose ward is also affected, revealed that his community’s appeals for help had not been heeded.