NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 22 – The Kenya Red Cross has warned that over 3.5 million people are at risk of being affected by the ongoing drought situation in the country by June 2022.

The society’s Deputy Secretary General Annette Msabeni says the number is a significant increase compared to the 2.8 million people who were affected by the same drought in 2021.

“Food insecurity and hunger is something that we will have to continue to deal with because this will continue for a longer part of the year,” she said.

The drought crisis which has been attributed to the poor short rains has affected 23 counties with the counties of Marsabit, Isiolo, Wajir, Samburu, Baringo, Turkana and Mandera being the worst affected.

Msabeni called for concerted efforts from stakeholders to mitigate the drought crisis even she reassured that the organisation will continue providing relief food and other interventions to aid the situation.

The Society’s Secretary General Dr. Asha Mohammed stated that besides the hunger crisis that has been triggered by the drought, the situation has led to school dropouts, early marriages, malnutrition, resource based conflict, gender based conflict and mental health.

The Kenya Meteorological Department has since projected that the April rains will not be optimal in some parts of the country in what is likely to worsen the drought situation in the country.