The Authority is responsible for the establishment, institutionalization and coordination of  structures for drought management.

Drought management is not a single-sector issue. It is a cross-cutting issue that requires collaborative action by a range of public and private sector agencies at different levels (national, county, and community). Kenya is fortunate in having an active and diverse group of actors working on drought management, including UN agencies, international, national and local NGOs, and research institutes.

The following coordination structures already exist at national, county, and community level:

  • · Kenya Food Security Meeting (KFSM)

The KFSM is an open forum with high-level representation by government, UN agencies, development partners and NGOs interested in food security and drought management. The KFSM facilitates information exchange and agrees actions to address emerging issues, referring these to the relevant government bodies or other actors for implementation.

  • · Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG)

The KFSSG is a technical sub-committee of the KFSM. It is a think-tank and advisory body for all stakeholders. Membership is limited to organisations with technical or administrative capability. KFSSG meets monthly.

  • · District (County) Steering Groups

These are the equivalent of the KFSM at county level and include representatives from relevant line ministries and agencies. There is currently a DSG in each of the 23 counties previously covered by the ALRMP. The meetings are held frequently, as need arises, and are chaired by the District Commissioner. The NDMA’s Drought Management Officer provides the Secretariat.


  • · Community-level drought management structures

These have been established in some counties previously covered by the ALRMP.


  • a. Reviews all coordination structures on a periodic basis and makes appropriate adjustments to them in line with a) the national mandate of the Authority; b) the provisions in the Constitution; and c) an evaluation of their performance, including feedback from stakeholders.
  • b. Chairs the KFSM and the KFSSG, and any other national mechanism established to coordinate drought management.
  • c. Provides leadership within the national and county governments in the development and delivery of any drought management policy or initiative, including the strategy to End Drought Emergencies.
  • d. Provides logistics, equipment, and capacity building to sub-county structures that coordinate with the county authorities, and establishes mechanisms that strengthen communication and feedback from communities, particularly those hardest to reach (such as mobile pastoralists) or with particular vulnerabilities (such as women and children, elderly people, or minority clans).
  • e. Maintains updated and accessible information on the drought management and food security activities of key stakeholders in Kenya.
  • f. Develops a management system that ensures a harmonised, collaborative and timely response to drought by all stakeholders, both public and private, that is consistent with best practice, and that promotes synergy between drought management initiatives currently operating independently of each other.
  • g. Develops and applies mechanisms which ensure accountability to stakeholders, particularly the Kenyan public, including regular and interactive communication.
  • h. Represents the government in relevant inter-governmental and international fora.


Rapid Reaction


The Authority coordinates the preparation of contingency action plans and the implementation of drought mitigation and relief activities.

The major lesson of drought management in Kenya and elsewhere is that early warning systems are of little benefit unless there is also the capability and will for early reaction. Specific activities must be carried out in response to early warning information at different stages of the drought cycle which, in combination with preparations made by communities, can significantly reduce the impact of drought.



  1. Develops and regularly revises multi-sectoral drought contingency plans at all levels, which not only apply a standardised, computerised methodology, but which also accurately reflect the diversity of local perceptions and aspirations.
  2. Determines the activities eligible for funding by the National Drought and Disaster Contingency Fund (NDDCF), and communicates these in accessible materials.
  3. Approves and forwards applications to the NDDCF for the release of drought contingency finance against the triggers in drought contingency plans, and ensures the accountable use of these funds by county and community-based drought management structures.
  4. Coordinates the implementation of all drought mitigation, emergency response, and recovery activities at national, county and community levels.


Knowledge Management

The  effectiveness in drought management and climate change adaptation activities depends on its use of accurate and timely information, and analysis of those data to inform action.


  1. a. Serves as the primary source of institutional memory of drought management and climate change adaptation in Kenya, and regularly maintains and updates this body of knowledge drawing on local and international best practice.
  2. b. Ensures that the NDMA’s database of early warning and food security information is accessible to stakeholders in usable formats.
  3. c. Identifies, commissions, supervises, and where necessary executes research related to its mission.
  4. d. Develops and applies mechanisms which ensure a strong link between learning and decision-making, by both the NDMA and its stakeholders, including, but not limited to, monitoring and evaluation systems.
  5. e. Develops policies governing drought management and climate change adaptation operations informed by a sound evidence base and a gendered analysis of drought risks and response. These policies include, but not be limited to, policies governing the NDMA’s geographical and thematic scope of work.
  6. f. Carries out drought risk reduction campaigns at community, county or national levels and support appropriate dissemination mechanisms, including community information centres/radios.
  7. g. Supports demonstration activities by communities or civil society groups which illustrate best practice in risk reduction, resilience building, and climate change adaptation, and analyse and disseminates these lessons to relevant stakeholders.
  8. h. Encourages relevant networking between local, national, regional, and international practitioners in drought management and climate change adaptation.

Risk Reduction

The Authority coordinates the preparation of risk reduction plans, undertakes risk reduction awareness and education, and coordinates the implementation of risk reduction activities.


The Government recognises that the key to effective drought management is to reduce risk and build resilience by investing in sustainable development in drought-prone areas and by mainstreaming risk reduction into processes of development planning and resource allocation.


  1. a. Works with other ASAL transformation structures to mobilise resources and action in support of sustainable development in drought-prone counties, particularly investment in the foundations for development. The long-term goal is to shift the balance of resource allocation towards preventive, risk-reducing measures and away from emergency response.
  2. b. Builds the capacity of community, county, and national-level planning and coordination structures to mainstream drought risk reduction and climate change adaptation into development planning and resource allocation.
  3. c. Identifies, documents and disseminates best practice in drought risk reduction and climate change adaptation, including evidence of the advantages of preventive programming.

Inform the development of sector policies and strategies that will strengthen drought resilience, and help relevant sectors identify and implement appropriate risk reduction and resilience-building activities through training or the provision of sectoral guidelines. Monitor the implementation of sector policies, strategies and financing in terms of their contribution to resilience-building.




The Authority generates, consolidates and disseminates drought management and climate change adaptation information, and operates an efficient drought early warning system.

Kenya has a unique resource in its early warning data. The historical record goes back to 1986 (for Turkana), and for other arid counties to the early 1990s. Early warning information should be accessible to all stakeholders, including national and county governments, development partners, civil society, and communities themselves.


  1. a. Manages and operates the drought early warning system and provides timely and credible early warning information on drought risks that is aligned to the needs of users.
  2. b. Consolidates and processes all drought-related information, including from regional and international drought early warning systems, and delivers this to stakeholders, including communities, in usable ways.
  3. c. Coordinates and participates in national and county food security assessments, and in relevant food security surveys, for example in health and nutrition.
  4. d. Coordinates the production and maintenance of food security baseline information, covering, for example, a gendered analysis of the sources of food and income, livestock ownership, crop production, hazards, migration and hunger patterns, and response strategies in different livelihood zones.
  5. e. Analyses and disseminates longitudinal data, in order to ensure that historical data is accessible to contemporary planners, and that longer-term trends are captured and understood.
  6. f. Coordinates the preparation of appeal documents for use by the national or county governments or for presentation to development partners.