Drought crisis eases in Kenya as El Nino rains persist

NAIROBI, Dec. 14– Ongoing El Nino rains in Kenya have reversed the drought situation in the country’s arid and semi-arid lands, the National Drought Management Authority said Thursday. NDMA said in a release that 20 out of the 23 counties initially severely affected by drought have fully recovered, while three are still in the process of recovering.

NAIROBI, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) — Ongoing El Nino rains in Kenya have reversed the drought situation in the country’s arid and semi-arid lands, the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) said Thursday.

NDMA said in a release that 20 out of the 23 counties initially severely affected by drought have fully recovered, while three are still in the process of recovering.

“The impact of the October to December rainy season, characterized by the El Nino phenomenon, has been realized in all arid and semi-arid counties. The positive effects of the rains are reversing the drought situation,” it said.

Cases of malnutrition in the region have declined, with the nutrition situation remaining stable and expected to improve with the ongoing enhanced rains, NDMA added.

During the peak of the drought in early 2023, approximately 4.4 million Kenyans faced starvation, and over a million children as well as pregnant and lactating mothers were exposed to malnutrition, according to the agency.

However, although the drought crisis has ended in the East African nation, NDMA said that the arid and semi-arid lands, including Marsabit, Isiolo, Samburu, Wajir, Garissa, and Mandera, all in northern Kenya, have experienced intense flooding, leading to deaths and displacement of both humans and livestock.

At least 168 Kenyans have died, and thousands of households have been displaced as the country grapples with the effects of El Nino rains, according to Kenyan authorities. Enditem