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Food shortage looms in Nairobi in wake of crop failure

The latest Food Security Assessment reports paints a gloomy picture of food scarcity in Nairobi, with an estimated 1.6 million people in other counties facing starvation.

According to the report, counties which have been supplying food to the capital were hit by inadequate rains between Octoberand December in 2014.

Also likely to happen is the sharp rise of cereal prices due to low production

The report detailed a 60 per cent crop failure in Kitui, Makueni, Meru North, Embu and Tharaka Nithi.

“The 2014 short rains were 50 per cent or less of the normal amount. The previous two seasons had also performed poorly creating a cumulative negative effect,” stated the report.

It also warned of a possible outbreak of cholera due to a decerase on water availability, with the resultant effect of households using contaminated water.

The government has put aside Sh2-3 billion to address the drought situation in the country.

Other interventions include a cash disbursement of Sh279n million from the Drought Contingency Fund to 16 counties to implement their county contingency plans, and an initiative by the government and the World Food Programme to provide food or cash to 691,800 beneficiaries in 13 counties.

In addition, the ministry of agriculture has been asked to ensure that all National Cereals and Produce Board in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) are stocked with maize.