Drought was declared a national disaster in February 2017, as the number of people affected by acute food insecurity climbed from 700,000 in February 2016 to 3 million in March 2017. Most affected people are in arid and semi-arid lands, with conditions worst in Kilifi, Lamu, Marsabit, Tana River, and Turkana counties. The drought has deteriorated livestock conditions, water supplies, reduced harvests, and has caused conflict over resources.

Seasonal rainfall from March to May causes flooding, and increases the risk of waterborne diseases. Approximately 24,600 people have been displaced as homes have been inundated. 65,000 people in Dadaab have also been affected.  New cholera outbreaks were reported in Tana River county and Dadaab refugee camp in April in addition to an outbreak in Lamu county.  Kenya also hosts a large some one of the largest  refugee populations in the world, just above 500,000, including over 300,000 from Somalia.

INFORM measures Kenya’s risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be high, at 6.1/10.?

Latest Developments

16/05: 24,600 people have been displaced by flooding across Kenya. 65,000 people in Dadaab have also been affected by flooding.

12/05: Five measles cases reported in Dadaab refugee camps with further spread likely.

11/05: Flooding in Taita Taveta, Mombasa, Kwale, and Marsabit has displaced over 12,500 and damaged livelihoods.

10/05: Dengue outbreak in Mombasa has resulted in 352 suspected cases.

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Key priorities

Humanitarian access: increased inter-communal conflict and armed group attacks have hampered access.

Education: 465,000 children remain out of school due to drought, food insecurity, lack of access to safe water and displacement.

Food security: The average to below-average performance of the 2016 long rains has led to an increase in food insecurity.

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Information Gaps and needs

  • There is lack of information concerning humanitarian needs in Dadaab camps.
  • Little information is available on the impact of the drought on the affected population.

Lessons learned

Support from county and district commissioners is important for effective disaster management coordination.?

Floods can occur in the rainy season from March-May, as was the case in 2016.

Key documents



Drought in Eastern and Southern Africa