Millions facing hunger in drought-hit Kenya

APA-Nairobi (Kenya)

More than two million people in Kenya are being directly affected by an ongoing drought in the country, which President Uhuru Kenyatta described as a national disaster.

The situation is getting worse and will continue until December at least, international aid agencies say.

Local officials say 13 out of Kenya's 47 counties are bracing for the dire effect of the drought, prompting Kenyatta to instruct the national treasury to help those affected with emergency relief.

At least Sh12 billion is being earmarked for the relief operation

The drought has killed livestock given the lack of pastureland as Kenya is in the throes of the worst dry spell in 123 years and a resultant food insecurity that may persist until the dawn of next year.

In August, there were projections that half of Kenya will witness unprecedented food shortages due to a prolonged spell without rain.

Only 20 percent of the country has received "decent rainfall", leaving the rest without rain.

Kenya is part of a Horn of Africa region where some 20 million people are facing the pangs of hunger thanks to the region's worst drought in 40 years.

The UN has warned that an estimated 58,000 children in the region will face protracted hunger if humanitarian relief does not reach them in the next few weeks.


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