The historically above average March-April-May (MAM) 2018 rainfall has continued to impact positively on water availability, forage and crop production across the ASAL region. The good body condition of livestock resulting from adequate water and pasture has ensured stability in milk production and enhanced household income from higher livestock prices. In the marginal agricultural counties food availability has been enhanced by the above average long rains season harvest, while in the pastoral areas improved livestock productivity and favourable terms of trade has brought a positive effect on household food security.
1.0. Drought status
1.1 Drought indicators
Most ASAL areas experienced generally sunny and dry conditions throughout the month of September 2018 which is normal at this time of the year. However, heavy rainfall was received in the coastal parts of Kilifi and Kwale counties towards the end of the month.
Figure 1 compares the vegetation condition index (VCI) in late September 2017 with that in late September 2018. When compared to similar period last year, the current condition of vegetation is remarkably above September 2017 and long term average VCI values. The vegetation greenness index in most counties for the last five consecutive months has been above normal ranges which is attributed to the impact of the above average cumulative rains received during the March-AprilMay (MAM) rainy season.
Domestic water situation in most counties declined slightly but remained stable although below LTA as compared to previous month except some counties like Embu (Mbeere) which are showing worsening trend as compared to previous months and long term average. The situation in Mbeere is as result of drying up of some open water sources such as traditional wells, ponds, shallow wells, small water pans and dams in Marginal mixed farming livelihood zone. Main sources of domestic water in most counties remained the same as compared to the previous month.