About 1 million Kenyans face food lack through February

The government will take immediate emergency measures to get food to an estimated 1.2 million people expected to face shortages in the next two months because of fewer than expected rains, government ministers said Friday. That's in addition to the 1.3 million Kenyans the government provides food aid for from its grain reserves annually because they live in semiarid or arid areas and never harvest enough food or don't have sizable herds of animals to sell, said Special Programs Minister of State John Munyes.

The lower than expected rainfall in October and November affected those areas because they rely on rain to farm and grow pasture for their herds. "Fortunately, there is adequate food in the country to meet the required needs," Munyes said. The national disaster and response management committee met to discuss the food and other needs of the affected areas and identified four out of Kenya's 60-plus districts that were most affected. Another nine districts are "deteriorating fast," Munyes said.

To speed up distribution from Kenya's grain reserves and medical care in the four districts,sabit, Moyale, Mandera and Wajir,the government is deploying the military to augment the work of the local administration, Munyes said. The four districts in northern Kenya are areas where people's source of livelihood are their herds of cattle, sheep, goats and camels and many of those have died. The government will spend 300 million shillings (US$4.1 million; Ђ3.5 million) to buy and distribute hay to feed livestock, Munyes said, reports the AP. N.U.

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