Kenya

Anthropometric and mortality survey: Taita-Taveta County (Voi, Mwatate, Wundanyi and Taveta Districts) - Final report, July 2011

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Taita Taveta County is in Coast Province and is situated to the southwest. It borders Tana River, Kitui and Makueni Districts to the north, Kwale and Kilifi Districts to the east, Kajiado District to the northwest and the Republic of Tanzania to the south and southwest. The County lies between 2° 46’ South and 4° 10’ south and longitudes 37° 36’ east and 30°14’ east. However, the County has recently been divided into Voi, Wundanyi, Taita, and Taveta districts

Taita Taveta is classified as a semi arid district. Out of the total area of 17,128.3 Km2 covered by the district, 10,680.7 km2 or 62 per cent is occupied by Tsavo East and West National parks, 4,100.7 km2 or 24 per cent is range land suitable for ranching and dry land farming, while only 2,055.4 km2 or 12 per cent is available for rain-fed agriculture. Of the 2,055.4 km2 arable land, 1,774.5 km2 or 74 per cent is low potential agriculture land, receiving an annual mean rainfall of 650mm.

It is estimated that in the larger Taita Taveta County has a population size of 284,657. The area experiences extreme food shortages which have contributed to high malnutrition rates, including acute malnutrition among children. In the recently conducted Short Rains Assessments, Taita Taveta has been classified as borderline food insecure and currently one of the districts under watch following the La Nina phenomenon. The district is predominantly agro pastoralist and marginal mixed livelihood zones and thus highly vulnerable to food insecurity during the drought seasons.