Food Security Framework | Hazards
Drought seems to be the key hazard affecting pastoralists, agropastoralists, and the marginal agricultural households. The country has suffered a succession of droughts over the past 15 years: 1996-1997; 1999-2001; 2003-2006; and 2008-2009. The droughts have decimated livestock and constrained household ability to rebuild herds to normal levels, and also caused substantial crop losses in successive seasons. The few good seasons experienced between droughts means that households have not had sufficient time to recover sufficiently from any given drought episode.
- Conflict, particularly in the pastoral areas, is a critical hazard. Although conflict is normally expected to decline at onset of the rainy season, the reciprocal characteristic of pastoral conflicts means that unresolved conflict has continued even as rains have improved grazing resources, significantly.
- Floods in the coastal and lakeshore marginal agricultural livelihood zones have become a seasonal hazard. Sustainable long term measures intended to minimize recurrent flooding, such as construction of dykes or improvement of drainage, have largely been insufficient. Increasingly floods are limiting the degree to which flood-prone households are able to improve their productive capacities because of the vulnerability to output losses.
- The food insecure residing in urban centers are susceptible to dramatic increases in food prices, which are a prominent feature during increasing drought periods. Further, heightened food price increases in 2008, motivated by disruption of systems during the post-election crisis coupled with the additional shock of global food price increases, accentuated urban food insecurity, increasing the proportion of the chronic food insecure population.
- The marginal agricultural farm households of southeastern Kenya have become highly susceptible to aflatoxin poisoning, which is attributed principally to inadequate grain storage facilities. Many of these households are forced to sell their grain soon after harvest and at lower prices to avoid aflatoxin poisoning, further exacerbating their food insecurity.
- Livestock disease, for instance, the Rift Valley Fever, in 1998 and 2007; and the Peste des Petit Ruminants in 2008-2009, have caused significant loss to the pastoral livelihood through losses of life, livestock, and markets, leading to the erosion of the pastoral livelihood.