Baseline for the Kenya Cash Consortium locust response in Asal counties of Kenya, August 2020

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Kenya is experiencing its worst locust infestation in decades following the invasion by desert locusts in its arid and semi arid lands (ASAL) counties in December 2019. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the desert locusts arrived in the Horn of Africa from Yemen in July 2019, their fast spread across the region has been favored by the vegetative conditions resulting from the above average long rainy season and tropical cyclones in 2019.

Since December 2019, the swarms have continued to spread in the ASAL areas in spite of the large-scale control efforts that have been undertaken by different factions led by FAO, the Government of Kenya and County Governments in the region to mitigate their effect on the lives of locals. The desert locusts pose a threat to food security and livelihoods of persons living in the ASAL regions of Kenya as large expanses of cropland and pasture have been devastated thus exacerbating the needs of the local population who now require humanitarian and government assistance.

To ease the loss experienced due to the locust invasion in the most affected counties, the Kenya Cash Consortium (KCC) led by ACTED in partnership with Oxfam and Concern Worldwide (CWW) are implementing an emergency cash assistance intervention programme as an anticipatory action in six counties namely Isiolo, Turkana, Marsabit, Wajir, Samburu and Mandera. The implementing partners on this programme include, The Pastoralists Community Initiative and Development Assistance (PACIDA) and Sustainable Approaches for Community Empowerment (SAPCONE) working in Marsabit and Turkana respectively on behalf of CWW, Merti Integrated Development Programme (MIDP) and Wajir South Development Association (WASDA) in Isiolo and Wajir respectively on behalf of Oxfam and Rural Agency for Community Development and Assistance (RACIDA) in Mandera on behalf of ACTED. In Samburu county, ACTED is directly implementing the programme.

The six counties in this intervention have been the epicenters for the development of the full locust life cycle, whilst also facing high levels of food insecurity as they have been classified into an Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) phase 3 and above levels of food insecurity. The cash based intervention will provide support to food insecure and locust affected households across these counties to protect livelihoods and improve food security.

To monitor the impact of the unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) provided by the KCC at the household (HH) level, IMPACT Initiatives conducted a baseline assessment in the six counties that are ear marked to benefit from this intervention. The baseline seeks to assess the food security status and expenditure patterns of the HHs enrolled for the programme before the first cash transfer. Post distribution monitoring will then be conducted after select cash disbursements.

This factsheet presents an overview of the main findings of the baseline assessment conducted in the six counties targeted for the programme due to the ongoing locust invasion. These findings are representative of the HHs that are receiving UCT’s from the KCC at a 95% confidence level with a 10% margin of error at county level. Findings relating to a subset of that population may have a lower confidence level and a wider margin of error.