Laikipia County: Drought Early Warning Bulletin for March 2017
Drought Situation & EW Phase Classification
Rainfall: The long (MAM) rains were expected to commence in the third week of March (according to the seasonal calendar) but are yet to start.
However, minimal and erratic showers were recorded across most parts of the County and across all livelihood zones. The recorded rainfall was slightly below average compared to the long term. The rainfall was 45% of the normal by the third dekad of March. The rainfall distribution was poor in terms of time and space across all livelihood zones.
Vegetation Condition: The Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) is way below the normal range, indicating a very poor state of pasture and browse condition across most areas. According to field observations, the pasture condition in MF zones is fair to poor while in the Pastoral zones and most MMF zones the same is very poor largely due to the poor regeneration coupled with overgrazing. The browse condition is largely fair to poor and deteriorating fast across all livelihood zones.
Socio Economic Indicators (Impact Indicators)
Production Indicators – Livestock migration patterns in the pastoral and some MMF zones are not normal for the time of the year. Milk production per household is below the normal range and has recorded a huge decline. Livestock deaths due to drought were reported. The body condition of animals is below the normal range for the period and is fast deteriorating.
Access indicators - The terms of trade are way below the normal range.
However, milk consumption is still within the normal range.
Utilization indicators – are all still within the normal range.
The EW phase is Alarm – deteriorating for the whole County.
The effects of severe drought are being felt across the County. In view of the current situation, it is important to fast track drought mitigation and response activities across the Pastoral zone and parts of the MMF and MF.