Nairobi — More than 3.8 million Kenyans are currently facing hunger as the drought persists.
As a result, the Crisis Response Centre -- the team coordinating the emergency intervention programme launched in August -- has recommended in a report that more funds be raised.
By February next year, the CRC is expected to have raised at least Sh9 billion to buy 240,000 tonnes of food.
The Treasury has released Sh24 billion since the programme was launched, according to the report, released on Thursday.
Apart from relief food, the money was used for water trucking, borehole drilling and in the energy sector, which has been in crisis following a drop in dam levels.
By October, 5.8 million people were benefiting from the programme and the number was expected to go down.
But the CRC report says the figure has gone down slightly because of inadequate short rains and the failure of predicted El NiÃƒÂ±o-type rains.
The report says areas at high risk of becoming a humanitarian emergency include the greater Marsabit, Isiolo, Mandera, Wajir and most parts of Tana River districts.
Baringo, Laikipia, Turkana, Samburu and northern parts of Garissa could also be hit hard as are Mwingi, Kitui, Makueni, Mbeere, Tharaka, parts of Machakos, Kilifi and Kwale.
The CRC, comprising officials from various government ministries and donor agencies, says distributing food to the northern parts of the country and Turkana was a challenge due to their vastness.
As a result, the emergency team wants personnel from the Ministry of Special Programmes to be increased to improve distribution.
Though the exercise is coordinated by the Special Programmes ministry, food distribution is left to the Provincial Administration, whose officials have been accused of corruption.
There have been cases where traders were found selling relief food, especially in Wajir, the greater Marsabit, parts of Moyale and Laikipia and fingers were pointed at Provincial Administration officers.
The livestock sector is the worst affected and people's animals continue to drop dead.
The crisis team has asked the Treasury to release funds for the livestock off-take programme. The programme, which started in August, was suspended after Treasury failed to release funds.
Grow more food
Despite the prolonged drought and insufficient rains, the CRC report says that the government, through the ministry of Agriculture, was urging farmers in short rains-dependent areas to grow more food and had distributed free seeds to farmers in these areas.
The report says a majority of Kenyans are relying on boreholes after 95 per cent of the country's water sources dried up.
It says that by April, 70 per cent of the surface water sources had dried up. The report indicates the crisis is likely to persist and wants more boreholes drilled.
The crisis groups reports that by October, 32 boreholes had been drilled in Nairobi and 18 in other parts of the country. A target of 220 boreholes has been set.