• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 51,879,000 Total population [?]
  • 6,375,000 People affected [?]
  • 3,582,000 People in Need [?]



Kenya hosts one of the largest refugee populations in Africa, over 485,000, including more than 262,000 from Somalia. ?

Continuing dry conditions across the country have led to the deterioration of livestock and crop productivity, above average food prices, and the reduction of water availability. These factors have led to increased food insecurity, which has risen by approximately 60% across the country since mid-May 2019. Current projections suggest that food insecurity will continue to worsen, with 3.1 million people predicted to be in crisis phase or higher by October 2019.?

Intercommunal tensions have also increased as a result of heightened competition for land and other resources. ? As pastoralists are forced to move farther and farther in search of pastureland and water for their livestock, there is an increasing risk they will come into conflict with farmers and landowners, and there have already been reports of sporadic violence.? Experience from past droughts suggests the risk of violence might escalate if drought conditions continue.

Insecurity particularly affects the counties bordering Somalia, with Al Shabaab conducting sporadic attacks against civilians and state security forces. Various disease outbreaks are affecting Kenya, including cholera and Rift Valley Fever. ?

The short rains season in Kenya, beginning in October, has brought above-average rainfall that has triggered landslides, flash floods, and riverine flooding across 29 counties. Although assessments are still ongoing at least 18,000 people have been displaced and more than 160,000 affected as of 27 November.?In the hardest hit counties - including Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Turkana - infrastructure has been impacted, damaging roads and bridges and restricting access to schools and health facilities.

INFORM measures Kenya's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be high, at 6.0/10. ?

Latest Developments


Following the killing of three teachers by al-Shabaab militants in Garissa county in January, the Teacher Service Commission has decided to transfer all teachers who are not local to the North Eastern region to other parts of the country. That includes teachers working in Garissa, Mandera, and Wajir counties. It is not clear how many teachers will be moved in total, but  at least 800 teachers have been transfered from Mandera as of 6 February.? The decision to transfer non-local teachers is a reflection of the growing insecurity in the region due to the increased activity of al-Shabaab. According to the local MP in Ijara, the transfers have resulted in a shortage of teachers for some schools. It is not clear if the transfers are to be permanent, but it will likely have implications for the education sector in the region. In 2018, around 900 non-local teachers were transferred following an al-Shabaab attack in Wajir, which led to the closure of more than 250 schools.?

For more information on the desert locust outbreak in East Africa, please see the relevant paragraph below.

Desert Locust Outbreak


The worst desert locust outbreak in more than 25 years has been intensifying across the Horn of Africa since July 2019, due to favourable conditions for breeding and limited operational capabilities, such as a shortage of aircraft to conduct the aerial spraying of pesticides. Several countries in the region are currently infested with locust swarms. Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya are the most heavily impacted, where the risk that the infestation poses to agriculture is at “threat” level, as of 6 January. Threat level indicates there is a direct threat to crops and that control and survey operations must be conducted to reduce the risk. The ability of locusts to form large swarms and consume vast quantities of crops and vegetation raises the risk of further food insecurity across the three countries, where more than 11 million people already face Crisis (IPC-3) level or higher.

Djibouti, Eritrea, and Sudan have also reported swarms, although have lower “caution” level of risk, as of 6 January, meaning increased awareness and control operations may be needed. Uganda and South Sudan are additionally on “caution” level as of 6 January, but as of 10 February only Uganda has reported swarms, in the northern region of the country. Breeding of the locusts is anticipated to continue and intensify until at least June 2020. If coordinated control measures are not taken, there is a high probability that the outbreak will spread to neighbouring countries, including into South Sudan and further into Uganda. ?