Kenya is looking for an exit from a prolonged drought that is challenging the country’s capacity to feed itself. The World Food Program (WFP) said Tuesday that 3.8 million Kenyans need emergency food supplies amid a devastating dry spell that is failing crops, emaciating animals, emptying taps and causing electrical blackouts in urban and rural Kenya, the Associated Press reported.
“Life has never been easy for the poor in Kenya, but right now conditions are more desperate than they have been for a decade,” said Burkard Oberle, WFP’s Kenya Country Director.
The organization has asked for $230 million in donations for emergency food aid.
The situation is now dire in the country’s capital Nairobi, where authorities began rationing power and water, bringing business to a pause and slowing down daily life especially for Nairobi’s 4-million slum residents.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga warned that the situation could turn into a “catastrophe,” if seasonal rains do not fall in October and November.
Meanwhile, failing crops have caused food prices to skyrocket by as much as 130 percent. The grain harvest is expected to be nearly 30 percent lower. In rural Kenya, food is so scarce that the air now stinks of decaying cattle carcasses.
“We see carcasses of animals everywhere,” said Wangari Maathai, the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner. “You could easily see carcasses of people everywhere.”
Read more here.
Source: Associated Press
, a Bulgaria native, is a Chicago-based reporter for Circle of Blue. She co-writes The Stream, a daily digest of international water news trends.
Interests: Europe, China, Environmental Policy, International Security.