Kenya

Embu County: Drought Early Warning Bulletin for March 2015

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Drought Situation & EW Phase Classification

Biophysical Indicators

  • The 3 months Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) show a negative drought trend, currently showing severe drought status in Mbeere north and Mbeere south sub-counties. The VCI values for Mbeere north is 17.23 and Mbeere south is 16.26.

  • The long rains onset has been experienced mainly in the mixed farming livelihood zone, between dates 22nd -30th, with an average of two three wet days. The temporal and spatial distribution was however poor.

  • Water stress increased mainly in the marginal mixed farming part of the county, occasioned by trying up of some pans and shallow wells hence increased distances and waiting time at the water points.

Socio Economic Indicators (Impact Indicators)

  • Pasture stress is evident in the marginal mixed farming part of the county, manifested in the declining cattle body condition. This consequently affected the prices of livestock and milk production across the county. Shoat body condition is good across the livelihood zones.

  • The terms of trade (TOT) for households was 0.36

  • Food prices remained high, household food stocks on the decline. Stocks are mainly out sourced from other counties.

Current Drought Risk: Medium

There has been an irregular onset of the long rains, commencing in the 3rd dekad of March but unevenly distributed. Some parts of the county are yet to receive the first rains. Forage situation has declined notable in the last three months, scarcity intense in the marginal mixed farming zone this has affected livestock production a great deal. Food stocks have also declined following several subsequent poor seasons.