Isiolo County: 2016 Long Rains Food Security Assessment Report (August 2016)



1.1 County Background

Isiolo County is located in the northern part of the country. It is divided into two subcounties, Isiolo North and Isiolo South. The county spans an area of 25,605 square kilometers with a population of 143,294 (KNBS, 2009). There are five livelihood zones (Figure 1). The analysis in this report will be done primarily for the Pastoral, Agro-pastoral and Firewood/Charcoal livelihood zones.


2.1 Current Food Security Situation

The Pastoral, Firewood/Charcoal and Agro pastoral (Merti sub-county) livelihood zones are classified in the Stressed food insecurity phase (IPC Phase 2) while the Agro pastoral livelihood zone is classified in the Minimal food insecurity phase (IPC Phase 1). A major driver of food insecurity is poor rainfall performance with over 50 percent of the county receiving between 50 and 75 percent of normal rainfall. Crop destruction also occurred in areas around Merti due to flooding of the Ewaso Nyiro caused by excess water from its catchment in Mt Kenya. Access to pasture and water was limited in the southern part of the County around Belgesh in the Pastoral livelihood zone due to tension over the presence of herdsmen from Garissa County. Finally, pasture was also fast diminishing due to inward migration of livestock from Marsabit and Wajir Counties which resulted to over-concentration of livestock around the remaining grazing areas and water points.

Most households (75.3 percent) had an acceptable Food Consumption Score (FCS) and were consuming at least a staple and vegetables on a daily basis complemented by frequent consumption of oil and pulses according to May 2016 Food Security Outcome Monitoring (FSOM) report which is an improvement on the 55.5 percent recorded at the same time last year.

The Coping Strategy Index (CSI) has also reduced to 19 in May 2016 from 33 at the same time last year, implying that fewer households were engaging in consumption-based coping strategies and on a less frequent basis. The Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) prevalence was 12.3 percent (SMART survey, Feb 2016) compared with 13.2 percent at the same time in 2015. The Crude Mortality Rate (CMR) and under five mortality rate (U5MR) were 0.57/10,000/day and <0.001/10,000/day respectively (SMART survey, Feb 2014) and were within normal ranges.