Data obtained by Datahom.com shows that the number of Kenyans who lacked the money to buy food in 2019 increased significantly. According to the data, about 32 million Kenyans at some point lacked the money to buy food. The figure represents 69% of the population at that particular point.
The data shows that the population unable to access food has been increasing significantly since 2010. Ten years ago, about 57% of the population lacked money for food. By 2011, the figure rose 61% before undergoing a downward trajectory.
In 2012, the figure dropped to 56% and later 54% one of the lowest figures over the last ten years. In 2014, the percentage rose again to 58% and later declined to 53% in 2015 the lowest ever. Notably, from the data, at least half of the Kenyan population did not have money food.
From this point onwards, the percentage increased sharply to 60% in 2016 and then 70% by 2017. A year later, the figure slightly declined to 64%.
It is worth mentioning that the figures represent people who lacked the money to buy food at some point but not the entire year.
The rising figures in the number of people who lacked the money to buy food can be due to tough economic times. It will be interesting to know the 2020 figures considering the coronavirus pandemic has crippled the economy rendering many people jobless.
Perennially, Kenya is known to have a food insecurity situation. “Food insecurity” is when people lack enough money, or resources, to ensure they can eat. In this case, there is hunger which can be a short-term physical discomfort or a life-threatening situation, a possible outcome of food insecurity.
According to the World Food Programme, the people who are most vulnerable to food scarcity in Kenya live in dry areas, which cover about 80% of the country. Food insecure families typically live in rural areas, are poor and depend on farming for income.
Over the last decade, Kenya has battled several drought episodes in the last decade. With the drought farming households are vulnerable to hunger because the farmers don’t know when rains start and stop so that they know when to plant or harvest their crops. In recent years, delays in seasonal rainfall have been the norm. In other years, rains came on time but then stopped earlier than anticipated. Also, extreme weather events are leading to massive crop failures.