Food Security Outlook

Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to persist in the short-term due to prior drought and current heavy rainfall

October 2019 to May 2020

October 2019 - January 2020

February - May 2020

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Concentration of displaced people
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Concentration of displaced people
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Concentration of displaced people
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.
Partners: 
Kenya - NDMA
WFP

Key Messages

  • October 2019 was one of the wettest months on record since 1981, according to preliminary satellite-derived data. A forecast of continued above-average rainfall in November is likely to cause localized, negative impacts to crop and livestock production and food access in the short term, due to disruptions to livelihoods activities. According to reports by humanitarian actors, more than 100,000 people have been affected in northeastern, central, and coastal Kenya; 14,000 people have been displaced in riverine areas; and more than 30,000 sheep and goats and 110 cattle and camels were killed in Mandera and Wajir.

  • Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to persist in most pastoral areas and some marginal agricultural areas through late 2019. Many poor households are still recovering from the impact of the 2018/19 drought on livestock and crop production, while above-average staple food prices continue to constrain household food access. Sentinel site data collected by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) in September indicated worsening trends in food consumption in several pastoral areas, indicative of the continued low quantity and quality of food. According to analysis of SMART survey data conducted by the Kenya Food Security Steering Group in August 2019, the prevalence of global acute malnutrition likely remains extremely high in Turkana South, Turkana North, and in Laisamis and North Horr sub counties of Marsabit.

  • Despite the lingering impacts of the drought and current negative impacts of heavy rainfall, food security is most likely to improve in the medium-term. The availability of the unimodal long rains harvest from high and medium potential areas in November is expected to lead to a gradual decline in food prices from November onward. In addition, the above-average shorts rains season is most likely to lead to above-average bimodal maize production and significant gains in livestock productivity, as witnessed in the 2018 long rains season. The anticipated benefits to household food and income sources are expected to drive widespread improvement to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes by late 2019 or early 2020.

NATIONAL OVERVIEW

Current Situation

After consecutive seasons of poor rainfall performance in late 2018 and early 2019 led to drought conditions through mid-2019, many areas throughout Kenya experienced one of the wettest onsets of the October-December short rains on record since 1981 (Figure 1). This is associated with one of the strongest Indian Ocean Dipole events on record, in which atypical warming of sea surface temperatures off the East African coast leads to heavy rainfall inland. According to reports by OCHA, flash floods and river flooding have affected more than 100,000 people in northeastern, central, and coastal Kenya, displaced 14,000 people in low-lying riverine areas, and caused 29 flood-related deaths. Turkana, Mandera, Wajir, and Isiolo are among the counties most affected, and pastoralists in these areas have reported some livestock loss.

Although the heavy rains are certain to lead to significant improvements in pasture and water availability and are most likely to enhance yield prospects for short rains crop production, National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) sentinel site data and key informants reported that dry conditions persisted in October in many pastoral areas. In marginal agricultural areas, the failed 2019 long rains led to widespread crop failure. However, the latter half of the unimodal long rains season led to strong crop recovery in high and medium potential agricultural areas. The subsequent July to September dry season was characterized by above-average land surface temperatures, which accelerated the depletion of forage and water resources and drove poor livestock productivity and atypical livestock migration in pastoral areas. Given the severe impacts of poor livestock and crop production on poor households’ food and income sources, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes have been widespread in Kenya since June. Based on the KFSSG July 2019 Long Rains Food and Nutrition Security Assessment, 3.1 million people were projected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse at the peak of the lean season in October.

Seasonal Progress: Across the country, the onset of the October to December long rains season was early with respect to the seasonal norms. According to preliminary CHIRPS satellite data, cumulative rainfall in the month of October ranged from 200 to 400 percent of average across central and eastern Kenya, with positive anomalies in excess of 100 millimeters. Lower positive anomalies were observed in the far west, but rainfall is generally near average in Turkana and the southwest. As well reported by NDMA, the Kenya Red Cross, and other humanitarian actors, the heavy rains have caused damage to infrastructure such as water boreholes, rendered some major roads impassable, closed schools, and caused loss of livestock and inundated farmland. The floods have further left these areas at a high risk of vector-borne and waterborne diseases, such as malaria, diarrhea and cholera, as a result of stagnant water, destroyed water infrastructure, and contaminated water sources.

Crop Production: Although localized inundation of farmland has been reported, with damage to crops mostly occurring in riverine areas, the rainfall has been largely favorable to short rains crop cultivation in marginal agricultural areas. Crops are generally in the germination stages. Ongoing land preparation and planting activities are providing significant on-farm labor income for poor households, equivalent to an estimated 50 percent of monthly income. There are early indications that area planted is above normal, driven in part by county government interventions to use tractors to quickly open up agricultural land for planting. Meanwhile, harvesting of long rains crops is ongoing in high and medium production areas in the Rift Valley and western Kenya. Field reports indicate total maize production prospects have significantly improved compared to mid-season assessments. In low-lying areas, harvesting is near completion, while in higher altitude areas, harvesting began in late October and will continue through December. The effects of the fall armyworm (FAW) were ultimately minimal, given that farmers’ use of integrated pest management combined with heavy rainfall from April onward. Early revisions to previous estimates by county agricultural departments indicate that unimodal maize production is average to slightly above average (0-5 percent). At the same time, the October to December second season bean crop is being planted in high altitude areas, with some earlier-planted crops developing in the vegetative stages. Good conditions have so far been observed.

Rangeland and water resource availability: In September through mid-October, satellite-derived data and field reports indicated that the impact of dry conditions and above-average land surface temperatures continued to maintain below-normal water and forage resources in most eastern pastoral areas, where pasture and browse ranged from poor to very poor. However, conditions in Marsabit and Turkana are slightly better off, where field reports indicate pasture conditions are poor but browse is fair. In Samburu and West Pokot, consistent rainfall drove significant improvements in forage and water resources, resulting in fair to good pasture and browse resources. At the end of October, vegetation conditions as measured by the eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) were indicative of a gradually improving situation (Figure 2).

In September, water access for domestic use indicated by return trekking distances to water sources was mostly above average across pastoral areas, ranging from 6-8 kilometers (km) compared to the three-year average of 4.1-7.6 km, with Mandera recording the longest distances at more than 10 km. In Turkana, West Pokot, and Isiolo, however, trekking distances were below average due to recent rainfall, ranging from 2.3-4.7 km compared to the average of 2.5-7.6 km. Livestock return trekking distances from grazing areas to water sources were similarly above average in most areas, ranging from 8.5-28.8 km compared to 8.2-22 km due to the drying up of water sources and breakdown of boreholes. In West Pokot, however, the distance remained below average at 2.3 kilometers compared to the 2.5 km average.

Livestock production: Despite the reprieve brought by heavy rainfall, there is typically a lag in the impact of rain on vegetation conditions and, consequently, livestock body conditions. Livestock births and seasonal increases in milk production typically do not occur until November. According to NDMA sentinel site data collected at the end of September, livestock body conditions were poor in Mandera and Garissa and ranged from fair to poor in Wajir, Isiolo, and Marsabit. In Samburu and Turkana, where June to September rainfall was above-normal, livestock body conditions are fair to good. The best livestock conditions were observed in West Pokot, where all species were in good condition. With the exception of West Pokot, where milk production is slightly above average, milk production at the household level was generally below average, ranging from 0.8-1.3 liters per household per day. The lowest level of production was observed in Mandera, where production was negligible compared to an average of 1.0-2.7 liters per day.

Due to below-average rangeland resource and water availability, atypical migration patterns persisted in September in marginal agricultural and pastoral areas. For example, significant in-migration was reported from Narok, Nakuru and Kiambu counties into Kajiado and from Kitui and Kilifi counties into Tana River county. In another example, in-migration occurred from Ethiopia to Mandera, while livestock out-migrated from Wajir to Marsabit and Isiolo counties. As a result of atypical migration, localized conflict events occurred over access to grazing rights, leading to the death of at least one person in Endau and displacement of about 200 households in Kitui East and Kitui South sub counties.  Despite long trekking distances, atypical migration, and below-average livestock body conditions in most pastoral areas, there have been no significant livestock disease outbreaks. In Samburu, a quarantine imposed in July due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) was lifted in September.  

Markets and trade: Given structurally deficit national cereal production, Kenya imported about 134,050 metric tons (MT) from July to September, equivalent to 70 percent of the total amount of maize traded within the East African region, primarily sourced from Uganda. Similarly, Kenya imported about 69,000 MT of dry beans, which was 75 percent of the total amount of dry beans traded in the region, primarily sourced from Tanzania. Despite the high level of imports, staple food prices generally remained above average in September, with few exceptions. Maize prices in the urban reference markets of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and Eldoret ranged from 14 to 38 percent above the five-year average. Similarly, dry bean prices were generally 30-38 percent above average, though less significant price increases are observed in Eldoret where prices are 13 percent above average, due to relatively better local stocks. In marginal agricultural reference markets, maize prices remained significantly high, not only due to demand for consumption but also for maize seed for planting. Prices ranged from 12 to 31 percent above average, with the highest prices observed in Tharaka Nithi and Embu, where prices were 35 and 56 percent above average, respectively. Dry beans prices ranged more widely from 9 to 38 percent above average, though average prices were observed in Kitui and Makueni given higher availability of substitutes like cowpeas and green grams. In pastoral reference markets, maize prices ranged from below-average in Turkana, to average in Samburu and Marsabit, to 7-24 above average in other county reference markets. It is fairly typical for price trends in pastoral areas to be more varied compared to the rest of the country, due to the proximity of northwestern and northern pastoral markets to source markets in Ethiopia, Uganda, and central Kenya and the remoteness of eastern pastoral markets from marginal agricultural source markets. In the marginal agricultural areas of Kwale and Tharaka Nithi (Tharaka), high maize trends have driven the casual labor wage-to-maize terms of trade to 23-25 percent below the five-year average.

Livestock prices in main rural reference markets are varied, driven by different trends in supply and body condition. In September, the price of a local goat was near average but declining in Samburu and Marsabit, and nine percent above average and rising in West Pokot. In Garissa, the goat price was 34 percent below the five-year average, due to a convergence of livestock from eastern Kenya and Somalia to the local market that has resulted in oversupply. Across remaining pastoral markets, the goat price was 9-20 percent below average but stable compared to August, driven by poor livestock body conditions. Given the prevailing goat price and generally high maize prices, the goat-to-maize terms of trade varied from near average in Samburu, Marsabit, and Turkana to 12-20 below average in West Pokot, Wajir, and Isiolo. The lowest terms of trade were observed in Mandera and Garissa at 37-43 percent below average.

Food assistance: In October, the Kenya National Government air-lifted emergency relief food to flood-affected households in Wajir and Mandera who were inaccessible by road. Collectively, the World Food Programme (WFP) has also provided 5,357 metric tons of food assistance and 2.9 million USD in the form of cash transfers, reaching 616,000 beneficiaries across the country. WFP further provided in-kind food assistance to approximately 260,000 beneficiaries as well as supplementary feeding to health centers for approximately 57,319 beneficiaries in Turkana, Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa and Tana River. NDMA’s interannual Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP), funded by DFID, continues to reach about 100,000 households (600,000 beneficiaries) bi-monthly in Mandera, Turkana, Marsabit, and Wajir counties. Further, emergency scale up of HSNP has provided KES 2,700 per month to about 27,000 households (162,000 beneficiaries) from January to September. Other forms of assistance include monthly food distributions from the national government to vulnerable households via the County Commissioner offices at the county level. Emergency and interannual food sources have likely mitigated larger food gaps for vulnerable households.

Current Outcomes

Pastoral area outcomes: In October, Crisis (ICP Phase 3) outcomes remain widespread as many pastoral households continue to have moderate food consumption deficits. Poor livestock productivity and high food prices continue to constrain household purchasing power and milk production, resulting in below-normal food access and milk consumption. Herding labor demand is low, and many poor households have had to depend on non-livestock related income sources with limited expandability, such as charcoal and firewood sales and petty trade. However, emergency and interannual assistance are likely playing a role in preventing larger food gaps. As indicated by SMART survey data collected in June and July 2019 and by monthly NDMA sentinel site data, the convergence of food consumption and reduced coping strategy index (rCSI) data are generally indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, with rising trends in mean rCSI observed in many pastoral areas. However, a decline in the proportion of households with a borderline food consumption score (FCS) has been observed since August in Turkana, West Pokot, and Garissa, while the mean rCSI has remained stable in Turkana, Marsabit, and West Pokot. According to the nutrition analysis conducted by KFSSG members during the August 2019 long rains assessment for the August-October period, ‘Extremely Critical’ (GAM WHZ ≥30 percent)[1] acute malnutrition has likely been sustained in Turkana North and Turkana East sub counties of Turkana and spread throughout most of Marsabit, with the exception of Moyale sub county, which has likely deteriorated to ‘Serious’ (GAM WHZ 10-14.9 percent), and Saku sub county, which has likely sustained ‘Alert’ (GAM WHZ 5-9.9 percent). ‘Critical’ (GAM WHZ 15.0 - 29.9 percent) levels have likely been sustained in Turkana South and Turkana West of Turkana, as well as in Samburu, Tiaty of Baringo, and most eastern and southeastern pastoral areas of Kenya. ‘Serious’ (GAM WHZ 10.0 -14.9 percent) acute malnutrition has also likely been sustained in West Pokot and Isiolo, while ‘Alert’ has likely been sustained in East Pokot of Baringo.

Marginal agricultural area outcomes: In October, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes exist in areas where crop production largely failed, including Kitui and lower parts of Embu (Mbeere), Meru, Makueni, and Tharaka Nithi (Tharaka). Most poor households in other counties are Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and unable to meet their non-food needs. Given significantly below-average or failed crop production during the 2019 long rains season, most poor households do not have any food stocks remaining and are mostly dependent on markets to purchase high-priced staple food commodities. However, ongoing agricultural activities are beginning to provide monthly income to poor households, which is gradually improving food access. According to NDMA sentinel site data, most poor households report a borderline FCS indicative of reduced quantity and quality of food, except in Kilifi where most report an acceptable FCS. However, from August to September, household food consumption score reporting has been on an improving trend in Lamu and Meru (Meru North) and remained stable in Nyeri (Kieni), Kitui, Kilifi, and Taita Taveta. On the other hand, the mean rCSI reflects stressed consumption coping strategies are prevalent in most areas, except in Embu where the mean rCSI is indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Similar to trends in FCS, the use of consumption coping strategies as measured by rCSI declined from August to September in Kwale and Meru (Meru North) and remained stable in Nyeri (Kieni), Kitui, Kilifi, and Lamu. According to the nutrition analysis conducted in the August 2019 long rains assessment for the August-October period, acute malnutrition has likely maintained ‘Acceptable’ (GAM WHZ <5 percent) levels across marginal agricultural areas. However, NDMA sentinel site data indicate some deterioration in Embu (Mbeere) and Tharaka Nithi (Tharaka), as the proportion of children “at risk” of acute malnutrition rose in September.  

Refugee settlements: Most of the refugee populations in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee settlements continue to receive humanitarian assistance from the World Food Programme (WFP) every month in the form of a general food ration. In September, WFP announced rations would decline to 70 percent of daily caloric needs, consisting of a combination of in-kind and cash-based transfers (50:50), due to resource shortfalls. As more than 25 percent of the population receives food assistance equivalent to more than 50 percent of their caloric needs, it is expected that food assistance continues to facilitate Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes and prevent the occurrence of food gaps.

Assumptions

The June 2019 to January 2020 most likely food security outcomes are based on the following national-level assumptions:

  • Based on rainfall accumulated to date and forecasts by NOAA and IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), total cumulative rainfall from October to December is expected to be above average, driven by the current positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). Monthly rainfall amounts are expected to remain above average in November and will likely result in localized flash floods or riverine flooding in Kisumu, Busia, Tana River, Garissa (including Dadaab refugee settlement), Lamu, Turkana, Garissa, Wajir and Mandera. As a result of heavy rainfall and based on land surface temperature anomalies in October, land surface temperatures are most likely to be below average through December.
  • According to CPC/IRI and NOAA forecasts, the IOD is expected to transition to neutral by January. El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are currently neutral and will likely remain neutral through May. Based on these conditions, the start of the February-August long rains season in unimodal areas and March-May long rains season in bimodal areas is most likely to be average. However, ICPAC forecasts the start of the long rains in bimodal areas may be late by up to 20 days in eastern Kenya. There is uncertainty given the long-range nature of this forecast.
  • According to estimates by the Kenya State Department of Agriculture, maize production in unimodal high and medium potential zones in western Kenya is now expected to be near the five-year average. The harvest is slightly delayed by at least one month to November, especially in higher altitude areas. As the harvest is overlapping with the current October to December short rains, there is an increased likelihood of both pre- and post-harvest losses, as the rains hinder proper drying of the crop. Maize losses are likely to exceed the normal 12 percent due to moisture-induced spoilage.
  • Given the above-average rainfall forecast, better-off households in marginal agricultural areas are expected to take advantage of the typically more reliable short rains season and increase area planted to compensate for the poor 2019 long rains harvest. County government interventions are also likely to facilitate increased area planted through agricultural mechanization programs and provision of seeds and fertilizers. Agricultural labor demand is consequently expected to be higher than normal through February. Particularly in the southeast, cropping conditions are expected to be above average indicative of an above average maize harvest in February 2020, driven by the above average October – December rains. However, excessive rainfall is expected to reduce the local bean harvest to below-average levels.
  • Based on FEWS NET’s analysis of cross border maize trade flows, regional maize availability in East Africa through May 2020 is expected to be lower than 2018 but similar to the recent five-year average. Below-normal production in Uganda, a primary exporter to Kenya, and competing high demand from South Sudan and Somalia markets is expected to result in reduced maize exports from Uganda to Kenya. Similarly, dry bean availability will also be below average, due to below-normal regional stocks and high local demand.
  • Given tightening local supply and reduced regional cross border imports, maize prices are expected to remain above the five-year average in urban and rural reference markets through at least February. According to FEWS NET’s integrated price analysis for the Nairobi market, the wholesale price of maize is expected to be 19-26 percent above average through May. Prices are likely to range from KES 35-45/kg (USD 0.34-0.43). The wholesale price of beans is expected to be 27-29 percent above average through May, with prices ranging from KES 83-101 (USD 0.80-0.97).
  • Based on FEWS NET’s integrated price analysis for Samburu and Garissa reference markets, livestock prices are expected to seasonally rise as body conditions improve and livestock sales decline for restocking during the wet season grazing period. Livestock prices are most likely to reach and remain at above average levels from February to May.
  • From October through January, livestock birth rates are expected to be below average, especially across pastoral areas, as a result of below-average conception rates during the March-May long rains season. This is expected to result in below-normal to normal herding and livestock-related labor demand. However, based on the current performance of the 2019 short rains and anticipated average 2020 long rains, above-normal conception during the short rains is expected to result in above-normal births in the 2020 long rains season.
  • Given above-average rainfall, there is an increased risk of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) outbreak in pastoral areas as a result of the widespread occurrence of stagnant water, which is a breeding ground for the Aedes and Culex mosquitoes, the disease vector, and exacerbated by poor handling of infected livestock and livestock products.
  • The government of Kenya intends to direct four billion Kenya shillings towards humanitarian assistance, with two billion going directly to food assistance and the remainder going to the water, livestock, health, and nutrition sectors. This leaves a gap of 4.6 billion out of the total 8.6 billion Kenya Shillings required for response. HSNP and WFP inter-annual assistance in the form of in-kind food distributions and cash transfers is expected to continue throughout the scenario period. Emergency food assistance, including the HSNP emergency scale up based on the Vegetation Condition Index, is likely to target at least 80,000 households in Mandera, Turkana, Wajir, and Marsabit with KES 2,700 monthly through November, when sufficient vegetation recovery is achieved. Interannual and emergency assistance is likely to mitigate food gaps.
  • In Dadaab and Kakuma refugee settlements, based on available plans and past trends it is expected humanitarian food assistance will continue to reach more than 25 percent of the population in need through May. However, WFP anticipates rations will decline to 70 percent of daily kilocalorie needs from October onward due to funding cuts. 

Most Likely Outcomes

In pastoral areas, the steady regeneration of rangeland resources by the short rains is expected to gradually improve livestock body conditions and market prices from October to January, leading to gains in household purchasing power and food access. Improvement is most likely to occur more quickly in the northwest in Turkana, Baringo, and West Pokot, where trends in livestock production and income are already improving despite some negative impacts from flash floods in Turkana. However, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to persist in most pastoral areas through the peak of the rainy season in November, especially in flood-prone areas, due to anticipated damage to property and infrastructure, human and livestock fatalities, and waterborne disease incidence. As rainfall subsides, livestock-related income and milk production and consumption is expected to seasonally increase and peak in December, leading to a reduction in both consumption and livelihoods coping strategies. Although the prevalence of acute malnutrition is expected to remain high, increased access to milk and green vegetables, improved purchasing power, and access to humanitarian assistance is expected to drive improvement from ‘Extremely Critical’ levels (GAM WHZ ≥30 percent) to typical ‘Critical’ levels (GAM 15-29.9 percent) in Turkana (South and North) and Marsabit (Laisamis and North Horr). Improvement within ‘Critical’ is expected in Mandera, Turkana, and Wajir, parts of Baringo (East Pokot), and Marsabit, but more significant improvement is unlikely due to chronic issues, including poor socio-economic status, poor childcare feeding practices, and limited access to health and sanitation facilities. Overally, food security is expected to improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2), though some households most affected by floods and some poor households with limited income-generating capacity will continue to face food gaps and remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

During the February to May period, the forecasted average March to May long rains will further improve forage and water resources to above-average levels. Livestock body conditions will further improve and, as a result of high livestock conception in the short rains, above-average livestock births and milk production during the long rains are expected to provide sufficient milk for consumption and sale. Livestock prices are expected to rise to above-average, providing an increase in income at the household level and further gains in food access. The prevalence of acute malnutrition is likely to decrease to below normal levels, especially in Garissa, Wajir, and Marsabit (Laisamis) as a result of above-normal access to food and milk. More households will improve to Minimal (IPC Phase 1), but at least 20 percent of households are expected to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2), with adequate food consumption but difficulty affording essential non-food expenditures.

In marginal agricultural areas, above-average staple food commodity prices are expected to persist in the short term, keeping household food access low and food insecurity high and pushing more households into Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in Meru, Tharaka, Kitui, Makueni, and Lamu counties. However, in November through December, crop harvests from high and medium production areas will become increasingly available, leading to a reduction in staple food prices in rural markets. Short rains agricultural production activities will also provide casual labor opportunities for households, and given anticipated intensification of production activities, household income is likely to be above average. Improvement in livestock body conditions, milk productivity, and value is also expected. As a result, household food availability and access is likely to improve, and increased food and milk intake is likely to reduce acute malnutrition to normal levels. In December and January, harvesting of short cycle crops will also drive additional, gradual improvement in household food security. As a result, households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) are expected to improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Minimal (IPC Phase 1). Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely at the area level.

From February to May, consumption of household food stocks from the short rains harvests and casual labor income from harvesting activities will continue to enable most poor households to meet their minimum food needs. Staple food prices in markets are expected to further decline as local harvests become available, increasing household food access and leading to improved dietary diversity and food consumption. The start of the March to May long rains season will also provide casual labor opportunities from activities like land preparation and planting, while seasonal gains in livestock body conditions will result in above-average milk production and gains in livestock value. In May, the short cycle harvests from long rains crop production will become available for household consumption and sales. Consistent food availability and access is expected to reduce the prevalence of acute malnutrition to below-average levels and drive improved food security. More households will likely move from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Minimal (IPC Phase 1). However, a sizeable number of households will be dependent on the harvest of long cycle crops in July to become food secure and, as a result, these areas will most likely remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

Refugee settlements: Voluntary repatriation is expected to continue for Somalis and other nationalities. As of early September, the UNHCR indicates that the funding requirements for refugees are only 40 percent funded to a tune of USD 67.5 million, leaving an indicative funding gap of $102,466,786. However, based on WFP information, is likely that the reduced rations of 70 percent will continue to be provided to most of the refugee population in Dadaab and Kakuma, likely preventing worse outcomes and maintaining Stressed! (IPC Phase2!) food insecurity.    

 

[1] Phase definitions for IPC Acute Malnutrition are as follows; Phase 1 (Acceptable): GAM WHZ <5 percent and GAM by MUAC <6 percent, Phase 2 (Alert): GAM WHZ ≥ 5 to 9.9 percent, Phase 3 (Serious): GAM WHZ 10.0 -14.9 percent , Phase 4 (Critical): GAM WHZ 15.0 - 29.9 percent , Phase 5 (Extremely Critical): GAM WHZ ≥30 percent    

EVENTS THAT MIGHT CHANGE THE OUTLOOK

Area

Event

Impact on food security outcomes

Flood-prone areas of Kitui, Kwale, Tana River, Mandera, Turkana, Lamu, Busia, and Kisumu counties.

Well above-average rainfall in November –the typical peak of the long rains season – that result in more severe, large-scale flooding.

Widespread flash floods or riverine flooding would likely increase the scale of crop damage, displacement, loss of livestock, and destruction of infrastructure. Crop and livestock loss would result in reduced food availability and a significant loss of income at the household level. Displacement would also result in a significant loss of assets and lack of food and shelter. Flooding would also further increase the risk of both vector- and waterborne diseases. Finally, disruptions to trade flows and market infrastructure would result in food commodity scarcity, driving additional price increases. These reductions in food availability and access would likely lead to an increase in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes.

About Scenario Development

To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 28 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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