Kenya

Garissa District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, February 2006

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SITUATION OVERVIEW

Environmental indicators

An average of two days showers was reported in many parts of the district at average of 3.0mm during the last week of the month. However, weather conditions generally were characterized by shinny and dusty days being the common features of the month.

Pasture condition significantly depleted in most parts of the district and the rest being restricted by unavailability of water.

Browses are in poor conditions following the prolonged drought period. Therefore mortalities are at its peak among all livestock species.

Distances for livestock to and from water sources currently increased by an average of 1.8kms compared to previous month. As a result, lots of livestock carcasses are observed between water sources and homesteads in most parts of the district.

Acute water shortages are currently noted in Turbi, Forolle, Hurri hills of Maikona division, Central and Gadhamoji divisions and parts of Laisamis division and El Hade, Balesa of North Horr division. As a result, water tankering was continued to the fore mentioned areas by Ministry of Water and Pastoralist integrated support programme (PISP).

RURAL ECONOMY INDICATORS

Livestock body conditions in many parts of the district are emaciated due to prolonged drought stress in the district. As a result, over 66% of shoats, 60% donkeys, 40% cattle and 21% camel species were decimated by starvation. It is estimated that in North Horr division up to 65%, Loiyangalani 60%, Maikona 55% of small stock died to starvation. A surge of livestock mortalities are noted with the current showers.

No major disease outbreak was reported in most parts of the district. Isolated cases of red water urinal disease incidences are reported among goats and cattle species at Gatab location and pneumonia/influenza among camels in Olturot and Kargi location of Loiyangalani division.

Insignificant milk consumption was reported in all parts of the district.

Livestock prices are on declining trend compared to normal period of the year which is caused by poor livestock body conditions.

Food prices remained high and stable compared to previous month. However, food purchases have slightly reduced by 4.6% compared to previous month as a result of the onset of relief foods.

Cereal/ Meat ratio shows that cereal prices remained high and stable while meat price ratio has decreased following the current stressful drought in the district.

Average daily casual labor rates reduced by Ksh. 26.00 compared to previous month. This indicates that pastoralist household's purchasing powers are fluctuating outside normal situation of the year.

HUMAN WELFARE INDICATORS

No major human disease outbreak reported in the district. The prevailing drought situation is a major threat in most parts of the district. Generally, malnutrition rates among adults are rampant in lowland parts of the district.

The district relief food supply increased from 30% to 60% compared to previous month as relief foods dominated 56% of the consumption.

Although relief suppliers increased by 20% compared to previous month, but 40% are not yet reached to meet the 90% as per targeted beneficiaries. Amongst the food commodities are maize, Pulses, Corn soy bean, vegetable oil and milk from Gok, EMOP and the Red Cross Society of Kenya.

Nutritional status of children between 12 to 59 months currently shows an average category (division) of as At risk, moderate 6.12%, normal 76.86%, GAM 7.05% and ARM 36.41%. Malnutrition cases are observed in North Horr, Maikona, Balesa, Loiyangalani and Korr sample areas. Although no major disease outbreak was reported in any part of the district but malnutrition rates were caused by severe food shortages in the district level. Medicine San Frontiers (MSF) organized a rapid nutritional survey in Loiyangalani, North Horr, and parts of Laisamis divisions.

Rabbis' cases are continuously reported in Loiyangalani; Arapal and Olturot areas of Loiyangalani division and as result Veterinary Department with ALRMP have organized a campaign on rabbis in the fore mentioned areas to curb the disease.

Overall trend

The whole district is on emergency food requirement. Pastoralist households are currently experiencing starvation in Loiyangalani, North Horr, Maikona, and Laisamis divisions due to high livestock mortalities which has resulted to famine situation.

These food shortages are attributed to failure of the previous rains for two consecutive years of 2004-2005, previous raids/ displacement, increasing cereal prices, poor livestock body condition and or declining prices.

1 ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATORS

1.1 Rainfall

Patchy showers were experienced in some parts of the district on third decade of the month. The weather conditions were characterized by sunny intervals and dusty days that remained common features of the month.

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