News / Africa

As Drought Intensifies, Kenya Fears Famine

A dead zebra is seen at the Amboseli national park, where the zebra and wildebeest population has been decimated by drought, and the park's carnivores are now roaming far and wide in search of food, Feb 10, 2010
A dead zebra is seen at the Amboseli national park, where the zebra and wildebeest population has been decimated by drought, and the park's carnivores are now roaming far and wide in search of food, Feb 10, 2010

Multimedia

Audio
Michael Onyiego

Food shortages are looming in Kenya as last season's lighter-than-normal rains begin to affect harvests in the arid north.



As Kenya begins its annual dry season, there are mounting fears of crop failure and a shortages of food for residents in the dry regions of the eastern and northeastern provinces.

Last year brought early predictions of a coming drought, with groups such as the Famine Early Warning Systems Network pointing to a La Nina system in the Pacific as bringing light rainfall during the critical “short rains” period from October through December.

The Kenyan government moved to ease the blow of the light season through the distribution of drought-resistant crops and the acquisition of additional grain reserves. But it appears the measures may not be enough to prevent hunger in the coming months.

Recently, Kenya’s Ministry of Livestock Development warned that over 150,000 camels, 6 million cattle and 16 million goats were at risk as a result of the drought conditions.

The Kenyan cabinet held a meeting Wednesday to talk about the response to the impending crisis. Government Spokesperson Alfred Mutua discusses how Kenya plans to avoid famine.

"The ministries involved will ensure that food arrives to where it is supposed to arrive, on time," said Mutua. "Second, the government will engage in the buying of cattle and livestock in endangered areas. More importantly the cabinet said that nobody should die in this country because there is plenty of food in different parts of this country. So it is a matter of transporting that food to the people who need the food.”

Some feel the government intervention, however, may not be enough. The Red Cross Society of Kenya is expected to launch an appeal for emergency assistance by the end of the week and has urged the government to declare a national disaster. The humanitarian group worries that dying pastures will force northern residents into even more unstable areas.

At least two people are suspected to have been killed by the drought conditions, and some northern officials estimate as many as 30,000 to be at risk. There also are fears the desperate conditions will encourage cattle rustling - a persistent problem in Northern areas in which residents violently clash over livestock.

Kenya is still recovering from a massive drought from 2007-2009, which sent food prices skywards and weakened the otherwise robust economy.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid