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Johannesburg - More than 2.5 million Kenyans are facing starvation as drought and the food security situation in the country continues to deteriorate, says Kenya’s National Drought Management Authority (NDMA).

The agency issued the warning in its latest report saying the number of 2.6 million people facing food shortages had increased from the estimated 1.6 million people previously assessed to be at risk as at the end of May.

Those in need of relief assistance have more than doubled from 1.1 million in February 2019 with a warning that the figures could rise to above three million people by October with populations in the arid and semi-arid land (ASAL) areas either facing a food crisis or an emergency situation, the East African reported.

Turkana, Mandera, Baringo, Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit and Tana River states, whose residents are predominantly herders, are the most seriously affected.

Others affected states include Kitui, Makueni, Kilifi and Meru North, which are situated in the marginal agricultural and agro-pastoral regions.

“This means that households in these counties have moderate to large food consumption gaps and above usual acute malnutrition as a result of the prevailing drought or are only marginally able to meet minimum food needs by depleting essential assets or employing crisis and emergency coping strategies,” read the report.

NDMA said the number of households in dire need of food has been rising steadily since August 2018 with the situation worsening in July this year.

African News Agency (ANA)