More than 30 per cent of Turkana North residents are facing malnutrition due to the ongoing drought in the country.
A survey conducted by UNICEF in January and February indicates that North Horr of Marsabit and Mandera also recorded global acute malnutrition of above 30 percent.
Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) is a measurement of the nutritional status of a population that is often used in protracted refugee situations.
“The results of SMART surveys conducted in January and February 2017 to monitor the emergency nutrition situation show very high levels of global acute malnutrition (GAM) (above 30 per cent) in three northern counties (Turkana North, North Horr of Marsabit, and Mandera),” the report states.
Speaking when he flagged off four trucks carrying relief food to areas most affected by the drought last week, Turkana county commissioner Stephen Ikua said the government will continue to distribute the food and upscale the supply as it monitors the situation.
“The food will be distributed as we continue to monitor the situation to ensure all vulnerable households receive the food,” said Ikua.
He said the government has also distributed three trucks of animal feeds, adding that an additional 21 trucks are still on the way. He also said the relief food distribution exercise is coordinated under the county steering group to avoid duplication of efforts by the partners.
President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the ongoing drought a national disaster on February 10 and called for international support to assist families affected by drought. On Sunday, the government announced that efforts will be doubled towards relief food supplies to ensure all households affected by drought receive Aid.
About 2.7 million people in Kenya are now in need of relief assistance, up from 1.3 million in August 2016.
As a result, a total of 174,000 children are not attending school in the affected counties, and 1,274 schools and Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centers have no access to water, affecting 246,000 children.
An increase in the number of children living in the streets in Arid and Semi-Arid Counties has been observed.
Access to water and sanitation continues to deteriorate and approximately 2.6 million people are in need of water.
It has been observed that approximately 35 per cent of rural water points were non-functional, even before the drought, and that an additional 20 per cent of water points have broken down or dried up in some areas.