Baringo County: 2016 Short Rains Food Security Assessment Report (February 2017)


Executive Summary

Baringo County is classified in the Stressed phase (Phase 2) of the Integrated Food Security Phase (IPC). The mixed farming and irrigated livelihood zones have remained in the Minimal Phase (Phase 2), while the Agro-Pastoral livelihood zone has remained in the Stressed phase. Pastoral livelihood zone has deteriorated from Stressed to Crisis Phase. This situation is attributed to the poor performance of the short rains season which had a late onset and low amounts. The commodity prices have increased, where a kilogram of maize was trading at Ksh. 55 compared to long term average (LTA) of Ksh.40 while goat prices reduced from a long term average of average of Ksh 2,636 to Ksh. 2,226. This has affected Access to food by households due to increase in maize prices and declining livestock prices, making the current terms of trade (ToT) unfavourable. Households are currently purchasing 40 Kg of maize flour from the sale of a goat compared to 66Kg during same period in the long term average. Low livestock prices have resulted to low purchasing power especially in pastoral livelihood zone since food commodities prices are high.
The food security situation in the pastoral and agro-pastoral zones is expected to deteriorate further as these areas are currently facing drought and resource based conflict in competition for pasture and water as a result of poor performance of the short rains, which had negative impact on household food security. The pasture and browse condition were fair in mixed farming and irrigated livelihood zones but poor and depleted in agro-pastoral and pastoral livelihood zones respectively. Return trekking distances between the water sources and grazing areas increased to 16 Km compared to 5 Km normally while households were currently walking a distance of about 10 Km compared to 5 Km normally thereby limiting access to water.
The proportion of children at risk of malnutrition has been increasing from October and currently 17 percent of children are at risk. The worsening trend can be attributed to low milk availability at the household level as a result of poor pasture and browse. The trend is expected to deteriorate further if no rains are experienced in the next two months or if there is no mitigation measures in place.
Food and nutrition security of the county is largely determined by rainfall performance, as well as conflicts and insecurity situation. Crop failure in the irrigated and mixed farming zones have attributed to less food available hence reduced food intakes. Food stocks held have significantly decreased. There were market disruptions due to conflicts which lead to closure of markets and displacement of population in Tiaty and Baringo South Sub County. Outbreaks of foot and mouth disease have resulted to quarantine in Koibatek sub-county. Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) and Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP) are pronounced in pastoral zones of Tiaty Sub-county.