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Kenya drought to persist, says report

Friday June 12 2009

By NATION Reporter

Kenya is among several sub-Saharan Africa countries that will continue experiencing severe drought as a result of climate change, a new report shows.

The 2009 Global Assessment Report on Disasters and Risk Reduction says parts of North Eastern Province will continue to receive insufficient rains, thereby exposing them to ‘a very high’ frequency and intensity of famine.

Other parts of the country, which have been receiving minimal rains, are also set to experience cases of famine.

The latest development will not be good news to Kenyans, who have been grappling with increased cases of drought brought about by poor rain patterns in the recent past.

Earlier this year, government statistics indicated that at least 10 million Kenyans were facing food shortages as a result of the famine, sparked off by the post election violence, high food prices among others.

“Sub-Saharan countries will indeed be highly exposed to the droughts…this is a major hazard facing many rural populations in the region,” says the report which was presented Thursday at the ongoing climate change talks in Bonn, Germany.


Overall, the report reveals that poor communities mostly from developing countries, having weaker governance structures, will continue to suffer as a result of climate-related disasters.

This is because the poor communities are often unable to access or mobilise the assets they require to protect themselves against disaster losses. They are also rarely covered by insurance.

“Indeed, the countries with small and vulnerable economies have the highest economic vulnerability to these natural hazards,” reads the report.

The report recommends that government should indeed put in place measures to reduce green house emissions as a means to avoiding the ‘negative and dangerous’ effects of climate change.

‘These are essential if potentially catastrophic increases in disaster impacts and associated poverty outcomes are to be avoided in disaster prone developing countries.”

More efforts, further adds the report, should be put in place to monitor such disasters.

This, it adds, will go a long way in reducing the disaster risks.