Kenya

Garissa District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, April 2006

Attachments

Situation Overview

The long awaited long rains started in some parts of the district during the month with some light showers at the beginning of the month being realized in some parts of the district. However, towards the end of the month, substantial amount of rainfall was realized in Jarajilla, Benane, Danyere, Bura and parts of Modogashe, and Shanta abak divisions.

With the onset of the rains, there was slight improvement in the availability of forage noted. Whereas substantial regeneration of the browse in many parts of the district where it rained was noted, there has been little or no sprouting of pasture.

The main source of water largely remained the River Tana, boreholes, Benane springs and shallow wells of Galana Gof of Modogashe up to the mid of the month. However, with the realization of the rains in some parts of the district some water pans impounded water. This has eased the pressure on the boreholes. Some of the water pans which impounded water include Rahole, Ashatin, Reythab ,Faf kalala, Khabobey, Amuma and Ahmed Gallow. This has eased the water problem and has positive food security implications.

In areas where rainfall was not realized, water tankering continued and the centres which entirely relied on water tankering include centers like Dujis, Abdi Gab, Shabak, Dujis, Shidle and Shimbirey while Maalimin, Afwein, Laba bar, Tog dub Lago, Alango and Shell Gulled have experienced light showers and water tankering has been suspended.

The camels and goats which are mainly grazers have shown significant improvement in body condition particularly in areas where rainfall was realized. The body condition of sheep and cattle is still poor though improving. With the improvement of the availability of water and pasture/browse, the livestock body condition is expected to improve further. This will consequently improve the livestock productivity and prices.

The unique wide spread camel flue have subsided and no other major outbreak of livestock diseases was reported in the course of the month under review.

There is an increase in livestock prices when compared with the preceding month. This is due to the unwillingness of the pastoralist in selling their livestock with the onset of the rains. There are fattening their livestock in order to fetch better prices.

The slight increase in maize prices may be due to the delay in distribution of the relief food during the month.

Accessibility to milk remained major concern in the district as hardly any milk is available for consumption. This is attributed to the low livestock productivity resulting from the current severe and prolonged drought.

There was an upsurge of diarrhea, Malaria and URTI in some divisions reported during the month. The worst affected divisions are Shanta abak, Benane and Liboi.

There were also incidences of outbreak of measles. A mass campaign has been conducted throughout the district and also covering the four neighboring districts.

The nutritional status of children slightly improved when compared with the preceding month. This could be attributed to increase in relief food targeting and supplementary feeding on going in the district and other health interventions.

Relief food distribution started very late during the month. The number of relief food beneficiaries remained 120,719 at a ration size of 75%.

Following an assessment carried out recently, an appeal has been made for an increase of the number of beneficiaries to 163,693 persons and approval of the KFSSG is being awaited.

No food distribution for Garissa municipality was carried out during the month.

1.0 ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITION

1.1. Rainfall

The long awaited long rains started in some parts of the district during the month with some light showers at the beginning of the month being realized in some parts of the district. However, towards the end of the month, substantial amount rainfall was realized in Jarajilla, Benane, Danyere, Bura and parts of Modogashe, and Shanta abak divisions. In some cases the rainfall was realized for only one day and it is still considered as inadequate.

1.2 Forage condition.

With the onset of the rains, there was slight improvement in the availability of forage noted. Whereas substantial regeneration of the browse in many parts of the district where it rained was noted, there has been little or no sprouting of pasture. The non sprouting of the grass species may exacerbate the acute scarcity of pasture being experienced in the district. The depletion of pasture is expected to continue and this will have serious food security implications.

Pastoralists continued to purchase cattle feed like maize husks for their cattle and sheep especially in Sankuri division.

1.3 Water Sources.

1.3.1 Use of Water Sources

The main source of water largely remained the River Tana, boreholes, Benane springs and shallow wells of Galana Gof of Modogashe up to the mid of the month. However, with the realization of the rains in some parts of the district some water pans impounded water. This has eased the pressure on the boreholes.

Some of the water pans which impounded water include Rahole, Ashatin, Reythab ,Faf kalala, Khabobey, Amuma and Ahmed Gallow. This has eased the water problem and has positive food security implications.

In areas where rainfall was not realized, water tankering continued and the centres which entirely relied on water tankering include centers like Dujis, Abdi Gab, Shabak, Dujis, Shidle and Shimbirey while Maalimin, Afwein, Laba bar, Tog dub Lago, Alango and Shell Gulled have experienced light showers and water tankering has been suspended.

1.3.2 Constrains to Water Sources

With the rains realized in some parts of the district, pressure on the boreholes has eased considerably with some of the water pans and natural water holes impounding water.

The flow of the Galana Gof dry river bed has significantly recharged the shallow wells and this has also considerably improved the availability of water in the area

1.3.3 Average distances (kms) to water sources.

In some parts of the districts especially Jarajilla, Liboi, Danyere, Benane and Modogashe divisions where light showers were received, livestock were relieved of trekking long distances.

Also the time for fetching water for the household have reduced considerably.

2.0 RURAL ECONOMY INDICATORS.

2.1 Livestock production.

2.1.1 Livestock body condition.

The camels and goats which are mainly browsers have shown significant improvement in body condition particularly in areas where rainfall was realized.

The body condition of sheep and cattle is still poor though improving. With the improvement of the availability of water and pasture/browse, the livestock body condition is expected to improve further. This will consequently improve the livestock productivity and prices.

This will have positive food security implications.

2.1.2 Livestock health and Diseases.

The unique wide spread camel flue have subsided and no other major outbreak of livestock diseases reported in the course of the month under review.

Drought related livestock diseases contributed to increased death rate in most parts of the district.

Worm and ecto parasite remained menace to the pastoralists.

This has negative food security implications.

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