Kenya

Garissa District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, October 2006

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Situation Overview

The long awaited short rains started in the middle of the month in some parts of the district. The rainfall intensity and distribution varied considerably with some parts of the district namely Bura, Jarajilla, Liboi and Shanta abak realizing heavy rains while in others like parts of Modogashe, Central, Sankuri and Balambala realizing light showers. There are also many parts of the district, which still largely remained dry but the rains are expected to continue.

The quality and quantity of pasture and browse improved considerably with the onset of the rains in most parts of the district especially in areas where heavy rainfall was realized. With the realization of the rains, the regeneration of pasture and browse is expected to continue and the improve

The main sources of water during the month were river Tana, boreholes, and shallow wells of Galana gof lagha in Modogashe and Benane spring. With the onset of the rains at the middle of the month, some of the water pans, natural water holes and catchment's pools have impounded water. The household access to water improved considerably. This is attributed to the improved water availability following the rains realized in some parts of the district. However, household access to water has been a major problem in areas with acute scarcity of water thereby relying on water tankering.

There was no cases conflict amongst the pastoralist communities reported during the month. However, an incident of rape has been reported in Balambala division and it is feared that this may raise tension which may ultimately lead conflict.

After the onset of the rains most of the pastoral communities have moved with their livestock from areas surrounding permanent water sources in search of better pasture/browse and water. The direction of movement is now haphazard.

The livestock body condition is generally fair to good and it is expected to improve further as more pasture/ browse and water become available following the onset of the rains.

Livestock health status remained stable. No livestock disease outbreak was reported in the course of the month. However, tick-borne diseases and worm infestation weakened the livestock body conditions and still remain a problem to the pastoral community.

Milk production remained low with most of the livestock remaining dry. However, it is expected that with improved livestock condition following the onset of the rains, milk production and consumption will consequently improve.

The price of cattle has abruptly shot up immediately after the onset of the rains. This is attributed to the reduced number of cattle brought for sale. The pastoralists normally at the start of the rains hold onto their herds with the intension of improving their herd size.

The prices of goats continue to improve when compared with preceding month. Goats' prices started improving late in September immediately after the onset of the holy month of Ramadan.

Sheep prices continue to improve when compared with preceding month. Small stock prices improved with the onset of the holy month of Ramadan and when rains started the number presented for sale reduced drastically.

Relief food has not been distributed for the last two months and as a result prices of food commodities (cereals) have substantially increased.

The nutritional status of children indicates a worsening situation. This could be attributed to high occurrences of children sicknesses like diarrhea, measles and RTI coupled with low milk availability.

The health of human adults remained stable and continue to improve but the health of children continue to worsen because of many diseases like diarrhea, measles and respiratory track infections coupled with lack of milk.

CURRENT INTERVENTION MEASURES

(NON FOOD)

Borehole maintenance team remained operational throughout the month carrying out repairs and servicing of boreholes.

CARE continued with the rehabilitation of the boreholes infrastructure and provided new gensets and pumps.

Relief fuel donated by UNICEF was distributed to all the boreholes and surface water supplies.

Water tankering continued in the areas affected by cute water shortages. This was supported by CARE, ALRMP and UNICEF.

There was livestock vaccination campaign throughout the district in the course of the month under review.

FOOD AID

The EMOP operation started towards the end of the month. Red Cross took over from as the new lead agency.

The number of beneficiaries has been reduced from 138,097 to 119,831 following the KFSSG assessment of the long rains of 2006.

SIMAHO continued with supplementary feeding centres at Atheyley and Raya.

Therapeutic feeding at the Provincial General Hospital.

RECOMMENDATIONS.

Continue to support the mobile borehole maintenance team to service and repair the borehole engines which have over worked during the drought.

Short rains assessment should be carried out immediately after current rains ends.

Provide acaricides and wormicides to pastoralist at subsidized prices and be given free of charge.

Support mobile health services to rural areas without medical facilities.

Support peace and conflict resolution initiatives in the district.

Enhance security surveillance along the Kenya- Somalia border.

1.0 ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITION

1.1 Rainfall

The long awaited short rains started in the middle of the month in some parts of the district.

The rainfall intensity and distribution varied considerably with some parts of the district namely Bura, Jarajilla, Liboi and Shanta abak realizing heavy rains while in others like parts of Modogashe, Central, Sankuri and Balambala realizing light showers.

There are also many parts of the district, which still largely remained dry but the rains are expected to continue.

The shorts rains normally start in the third week of October and this means that the rains started on time during this season.

1.2 Forage Condition

The quality and quantity of pasture and browse improved considerably with the onset of the rains in most parts of the district especially in areas where heavy rainfall was realized. With the realization of the rains, the regeneration of pasture and browse is expected to continue and the improve

The distance to grazing areas is also on the decline and this is as a result of the improved water and pasture availability following the rains realized in some parts of the district.

1.3 Water Sources and Availability

1.3.1 Water Sources

The main sources of water during the month were river Tana, boreholes, and shallow wells of Galana gof lagha in Modogashe and Benane spring. With the onset of the rains at the middle of the month, some of the water pans, natural water holes and catchment's pools have impounded water.

In areas where no rainfall was realized, the people relied on water tankering and these areas include Abdigab, Ohio, Ashadin, Dogob and Akal-Arr (Shidle).

1.3.2 Household access to water

The household access to water improved considerably. This is attributed to the improved water availability following the rains realized in some parts of the district. However, household access to water has been a major problem in areas with acute scarcity of water thereby relying on water tankering. Households are now more accessible to water when compared with preceding month especially in Bura, Jarajilla, Liboi and Dadaab divisions where substantial amount of rainfall was realized.

1.3.3 Livestock access to water

Most of the livestock have easy access to water sources. After the light showers livestock was able to move away form the permanent water sources. Therefore, distance to water sources has reduced. In Bura, Jarajilla, Dadaab and Liboi divisions' livestock accessibility to water have really improved. Livestock in these divisions are no longer congested around the boreholes. Most of the boreholes are now not operational.

1.4 EMERGING ISSUES.

1.4.1 Insecurity/Conflict/ Human displacement.

There was no cases conflict amongst the pastoralist communities reported during the month. However, an incident of rape has been reported in Balambala division and it is feared that this may raise tension which may ultimately lead conflict.

There is no serious human displacement, however there were pastoralist who have lost their livestock and have now migrated to food distribution points (FDP) especially in the divisions of Danyere, Kone in Balambala and Skanska in Modogashe.

1.4.2 Migration

After the onset of the rains most of the pastoral communities have moved with their livestock from areas surrounding permanent water sources in search of better pasture/browse and water.

Those watering their livestock from river Tana during the dry season have now moved towards the central grazing corridor while those around the boreholes have moved to nearest area that has received rain. The direction of movement is now haphazard.

1.4.3 Implication on Food Security

The ongoing rains are expected to improve the livestock productivity, health and body condition. This has positive food security implications.

1.0 RURAL ECONOMY INDICATORS

2.1 Livestock Production

2.1.1 Livestock Body Condition

The livestock body condition is generally fair to good and it is expected to improve further as more pasture/ browse and water become available following the onset of the rains.

2.1.2 Livestock Health and Diseases.

Livestock health status remained stable. No livestock disease outbreak was reported in the course of the month. However, tick-borne diseases and worm infestation weakened the livestock body conditions and still remain a problem to the pastoral community.

2.1.3 Milk Production

Milk production remained low with most of the livestock remaining dry. However, it is expected that with improved livestock condition following the onset of the rains, milk production and consumption will consequently improve.

2.2. Crop Production

2.2.1 Crop production activities along river tana.

Crops grown under irrigation have been doing well while rain fed crop activities are expected to start after the onset of the rains.

2.2.2 Pests and Crop Diseases

In the course of the month under review no major crop pests or diseases were reported from the farms that are irrigated along the river Tana.

2.2.3 Harvest

During the Holy month of Ramadan a lot of fruits from the farms along the river Tana ranging from bananas to water melon have been consumed in Garissa town. The farmers purposely targeted the holy month which demands the same.

3.0 Access to food

3.1 Livestock Marketing.

3.1.1 Cattle prices

The price of cattle has abruptly shot up immediately after the onset of the rains. This is attributed to the reduced number of cattle brought for sale. The pastoralists normally at the start of the rains hold onto their herds with the intension of improving their herd size.

The price of cattle has tremendously improved when compared with the preceding month. It is above the long term mean.

This has positive food security implications.

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