Households in rural Kenya are sensitive to weather shocks through their reliance on rain-fed agriculture and livestock. This study used the latest data sets of historical weather and household panel data collected in 2000-2007 to understand the impact of exposure to weather extremes –including periods of high and low rainfall, heat, and wind– on household welfare. We find that all types of extreme weather affect household well-being, although effects sometimes differ with income and calorie estimates. Periods of drought are the most consistently negative weather shock across different income groups and agro-ecological regions. Exposure to low rainfall reduces income from both on- and off-farm sources, though households compensate for diminished on-farm production with food purchases. The study further explores the factors that offset the negative effects of drought, and finds that access to credit and membership in a savings group render a household more resilient. Thus, policies and programs to improve access to both financial services and food markets could enhance household resilience to weather shocks.


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