The Effects of Droughts on Food Security in Kenya

By Julius M. Huho and Edward M. Mugalavai.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Agriculture supports up to 75% of the Kenyan population and generates almost all the country’s food requirements. However drought are the major constraints to rain-fed agricultural production, especially in arid and semi arid lands (ASALs) of Kenya which form about 88% of the country. In the last 100 years, Kenya has recorded 28 droughts, three of them in the last decade. The frequency and severity of droughts seems to be increasing in the country over time. The result has been total crop failures and livestock deaths triggering severe food shortages in the country and more specifically in ASAL districts. Between 1993 to date, the government of Kenya has declared 7 national disasters out of which 5 were drought related. These declarations followed the droughts of 1992-93, 1996-97, 1999-2000, 2005-06 and 2008-09 when the Kenya government requested international communities for food aid. About 28 ASAL districts in Kenya have been placed under Emergency Operation Programme (EMOP) due to the heightening food insecurity caused by droughts. This paper highlights the effects of drought on food security in Kenya with special reference to Central and Mukogodo Divisions of the semi arid areas of Laikipia District, Kenya.

Keywords: Drought, Food Security, ASALs, Kenya

International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.61-72. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 656.267KB).

Julius M. Huho

PhD Student (Climatology), Geography Department, Maseno University, Kisumu, Kenya

Edward M. Mugalavai

PhD Student, Earth Science Department, Maseno University, Kisumu, Kenya


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