45% of Children in West Pokot experience Stunted Growth
March 17, 2020
West Pokot and Turkana counties experience some of the most severe symptoms of chronic hunger in Kenya.
This has emerged following a report released by the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research Analysis KiPPRA.
Every year, a third of Kenyans suffer from chronic food insecurity and inadequate nutrition.
The 2019 Global Hunger Index which came out on Thursday in Nairobi outlined the dismal statistics, with the Director of Agricultural Research Oscar Magenya stating that more than 4 million Kenyans are hungry at any one time.
At number 86 out of 117, Kenya is among the 43 hungriest countries in the world.
The future looks dismal as climate change attacks the farm yields of Kenyans and the recent locust invasion threatens to make the situation even worse.
29% of Kenyans don’t get the nutrient they need to live a fully healthy life, according to Welthungerlife Country Director Kelvin Shingles.
More than a quarter of Kenyan children experience stunted growth.
Kitui and West Pokot experienced the highest rates of stunting at 45.8 and 45.9% respectively.
Counties in Northern Kenya experienced more wasting with 22.9% for Turkana, 16% for Marsabit, 14.8% for Mandera, and 14.3 for West Pokot, and 14.2% for Wajir.
Childhood undernutrition costs Kenya Sh 373 billion or 6.9% of the country’s GDP, according to a 2014 report, the Cost of Hunger in Africa. 2.6% of children still die for lack of food.
Achieving food security is a tall order for a country that depends on rain-fed agriculture.
Hunger and undernutrition are fueled by several factors, including climate change, inflation, reliance on rain-fed agriculture, and post-harvest losses.