Kenya

Kajiado County: Drought Early Warning Bulletin for March 2015

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Drought Situation & EW Phase Classification

Biophysical Indicators

In the month of March the County was in ALARM drought situation. The long rains had not started by the end of the month despite poor performance of previous short rains. The six months cumulative rainfall (Oct 2014 – Mar 2015) recorded 24.3 % deficit of the long term average.

The vegetation condition index (VCI) for the County showed that the County was in moderate drought situation. The VCI seasonal graph showed VCI value close to 20 [< 20 is severe drought]. Kajiado West had a VCI of 18.95 indicating that the Sub-County was in severe drought situation.

Water situation for March was below normal and inadequate.

Economic Indicators (Impact Indicators)

Unusual cattle migration was reported in March. Those left behind were emaciated. Cases of cattle death due to drought were reported in Magadi in Kajiado West. The terms of trade (TOT) for pastoralist declined during the month due to declining livestock prices and increasing food stuff prices. The percentage of under fives who were at risk of malnutrition was increasing rapidly. In March this percentage was 11.3.

Current Drought Risk

Based on poor performance of biophysical, production and utilization indicators, the County was classified on high drought risk situation. Considering that long rains had delayed, the situation was more likely to worsen in the next one month. In this regards, it was recommendable to activate Drought Contingency funds kit for drought mitigation activities to cushion communities against drought. Pastoral zones of Kajiado West were in great need for humanitarian intervention.