In this edition, the Government unveils new drought mitigation measures as the National Treasury approves a further Ksh7.4 billion while the European Union allocates a further Ksh2.5 billion to respond to the drought. Part of the EU funding is channeled towards cash transfers to be managed by the Hunger Safety Nets Programme (HSNP) as the United Nations calls on the international community to act fast to avert a humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa.

Read Drought Resilience Newsletter for more detailed  in-depth feature stories on drought interventions. 

The Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) in the 23 ASAL counties, as at 27th of March 2017, confirm a significant vegetation deficit for the period in almost all ASAL counties. It should be noted that although some localised rains have been received in some of the counties, the impact on the VCI has not been felt yet because of a lag time until the vegetation reacts to the improved moisture.

Click this link Vegetation Condition Index as at March 27, 2017 for county specific VCIs.

2016 Short rains Assessment Reports

The assessment was carried out between January and February 2016 to assess the impact of the October-December 2015 short rains on livelihoods in 23 ASAL counties. 

2016 SRA National Report

Click on a county name for the SRA report of the particular county:



Kajiado Narok West Pokot Turkana Isiolo
Makueni Nyeri North (Kieni) Meru North Laikipia Embu (Mbeere) Samburu
Tana River Kilifi Kwale   Taita Taveta Tharaka



NB/ You can get the 2015 and 2014 reports by clicking on the All Downloads sub-menu under Resource Centre




Ending drought emergencies in arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) will protect the vulnerable and achieve national development goals in accordnace with the Constitution. You can participate in ending drought emergencies in Kenya by promoting drought risk management and the foundations for sustainable livelihoods, security, infrastructure and human capital.

To get involved:

1. Learn more about the EDE:
·    Download the Common Programme Framework for Ending Drought Emergencies at: and the pillar frameworks

2. If you live in a drought- prone county:
·    Ask your elected leaders to press for EDE commitments to be met.
·    Check that your County Integrated Development Plan includes projects and associated funding for EDE activities.
·    Get involved with drought risk reduction groups in your area.

3. If you implement, finance or support development projects in drought-prone counties:
·    Align your activities with the Common Programme Framework for EDE.
·    Ensure that any funds you provide are included in the online investment tracker.
·    Join the working group for the EDE pillar that interests you and support its work.



The National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) is a public body established by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) Act, 2016. It previously operated under the State Corporations Act (Cap 446) of the Laws of Kenya by Legal Notice Number 171 of November 24, 2011. The Act gives the NDMA the mandate to exercise overall coordination over all matters relating to drought management including implementation of policies and programmes relating to drought management. The history of Kenya’s work on drought management goes back to 1985, with the design of a drought contingency planning system in Turkana. In the early 1990s this system was extended to other arid districts with the support of the Netherlands government. It was then expanded further by the Emergency Drought Recovery Project (from 1992) and its successor, the ALRMP, both of them supported by the World Bank. By end of Phase II of the ALRMP, the drought management system was covering 28 arid and semi-arid districts (now 23 counties). This series of short-term, project-based interventions were being carried out at a time when drought periods were becoming increasingly frequent and intense, directly affecting the household food security and livelihoods of more than ten million people. The government therefore recognised the need to strengthen the sustainability and quality of drought management in Kenya by establishing the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA). The NDMA provides a platform for long-term planning and action, as well as a mechanism for solid coordination across Government and with all other stakeholders. The Authority has established offices in 23 ASAL counties considered vulnerable to drought.

EDE will be Lauched By Presidedent Uhuru Kenyatta on 4th of November 2015


Drought cuts across sectors and requires support from both national and international pertners. The following projects, financed by the Government and international partners, are helping NDMA to realise its mandate:

1. Kenya Rural Development Programme 

Kenya Rural Development Programme (KRDP) is a broad sector-wide programme funded by the European Union. The programme focuses on securing long-term food security in Kenya through improved agricultural productivity and better responses to drought and improved livelihoods in arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs).

The following KRDP projects targeting Kenya's arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) are implemented under the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA):

2. Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) 

This project is financed by DFID to reduce extreme hunger and vulnerability of the poorest households through the regular payment of an unconditional cash transfer. It ensures effective, financially secure and well-targeted use of safety net and cash transfer programmes to support some of the most vulnerable and poor in Kenya. It is currently in four counties namely Turkana, Marsabit, Wajir and Mandera;

3. Climate Adaptation (ADA Consorteum)

The Adaptation consortium is a four-year Department for International Development (DFID) funded initiative that is central to the National Drought Management Authority strategy. The consortium funded under Strengthening Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change in Kenya plus (StARCK+) aims at preparing county government access global climate finance fund in support of adaptation and climate resilient development and to mainstream mechanisms that allow communities to prioritise investments in public goods that build their resilience to climate change.




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.




    Hon. Agnes M. Ndetei

Principal Secretaries

    Mwanamaka A. Mabruki, Principal Secretary, State Department of Devolution
    Mr. Kamau Thugge, Principal Secretary, The National Treasury

Other Members

    Ms. Emily Kithira Mworia
    Mr. Rashid Kassim Amin

Chief Executive Officer

    Mr. James O. Oduor



1. Technical Services

The Technical services Department is composed of three (3) divisions namely:-

A. Drought Information:

  • Developing and maintaining drought information systems
  • Coordinating national and county food security assessments
  • Processing drought early warning information for use by stakeholders

 B. Drought Resilience

  • Coordination of drought risk reduction and building of long-term resilience to drought
  • Promoting capacity building of community planning units in participatory disaster risk assessments
  • Facilitate formulation, implementation, M&E of strategic risk reduction programmes, projects and initiatives

C. Drought Contingency Planning and response

  • Develop strategies and oversee coordination and implementation of drought response programmes and projects based drought management cycle and contingency planning
  • Consolidation of county plans into national drought contingency plans
  • Establishment and maintenance of a national drought response capacity database

 2. Support Services

This department has five (5) divisions namely:

  • Finance and Accounts
  • Human Resource and Administration
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Supply Chain
  • Media and Public Relations

 3. Resource Mobilization and Advocacy

  • Mobilise resources for the Authority through engagement of collaborating Development Partners and organised community groups
  • Build and sustain effective partnerships both within and without Government and identify Development Partners with interest to support the Authority
  • Develop advocacy programmes that engage local communities in key decisions which ensure their active participation in drought management at their level

 4. Policy, Planning and Research

  • Development and review of the national strategy on drought management
  • Convene joint planning and prioritisation by stakeholders through joint fora
  • Providing framework for coordinating financing of public sector role in national response
  • Initiate and participate in organisational performance reviews and business process improvement programmes
  • Coordinate research in the field of drought management






       To be a world-class authority in drought management and climate change adaptation for sustainable livelihoods


       To provide leadership and coordination of Kenya’s effort in the management of drought risks and enhancing adaptation to climate change

Core values

  • Passion for results
  • Accountability and Integrity
  • Selfless service based on citizen orientation
  • Responsive to the needs of vulnerable groups
  • Participatory approach
  • Transformative innovation