The 2019 long rains assessment in Baringo County was conducted by the Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG) together with the technical members of the County Steering Group (CSG) that were drawn from agriculture, livestock, water, education and health and nutrition sectors and other stakeholders. The assessment was carried out in the four major livelihoods namely; mixed farming, pastoral, agro-pastoral and irrigated cropping livelihood zones. The main objective of the short rains’ assessment was to develop an objective, evidence–based and transparent food and nutrition security situation analysis following the long rains of 2019. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to carry out the situation analysis.
Rainfall performance for the long rains was near normal to normal, high food prices, livestock diseases and incidences of resource-based conflicts were the main food insecurity drivers. Food is currently available in the households particularly in the mixed farming livelihood zone as the 42 percent of the food stocks held in the county are largely in this livelihood. Livestock productivity is normal as evidenced by the good body condition of livestock and milk is available though below normal in the pastoral livelihood zones. Currently, households in the irrigated cropping, mixed farming and agro pastoral livelihood zones have access to food. Despite the increase in maize prices by 19 percent, goat prices have also increased by 15 percent when compared to the longterm averages. Consequently, the terms of trade are within the seasonal averages. Markets functions were normal and are well provisioned with food largely from other counties except for Loruk market where no activities are going on due to tension and fear of insecurity.
Distances to water sources for domestic consumption have remained within seasonal norms in all livelihood zones except a slight increase noted in the pastoral livelihood. Water consumption has reduced across the livelihoods. In the pastoral and agro pastoral livelihood zones, households are consuming 10-15 litres per person per day while those in the mixed farming and irrigated cropping livelihood zones are consuming more than 15 litres per person per day. Hand-washing and water treatment across the livelihood zones is minimal at less than 10 percent for each of the indicators and as such are affecting the utilization pillar of food security.
National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) surveillance data indicated that households having acceptable, borderline and poor food consumption as at July 2019 were 60.7, 34.5 and 4.9 percent respectively. The households who were not employing any food consumption related coping strategies were 17.2 percent and the remaining 40.7 and 42.2 percent used Stressed and Crisis coping strategies respectively. Regarding livelihood change, there were 48.5 percent not employing any coping strategy while another 39.9 and 11.2 percent were using Stressed and emergency coping strategies respectively. The Nutrition status is Serious in Baringo North and South where the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate was 9.3 percent ad it was Critical, in Tiaty Sub county which had GAM rate of 20.9 percent. There were no unusual deaths reported and thus the Under Five Mortality Rate and the Crude Mortality Rate (CMR) were considered to be below the emergency cut offs. Baringo County is therefore classified as ‘Stressed’ (IPC Phase 2) in the agro pastoral, None/Minimal (IPC Phase 1) in the mixed farming and irrigated cropping livelihood zones and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the pastoral livelihood zones of Tiaty Sub-county