Kenya: The 2016 Long Rains Season Assessment Report


An estimated 1.25 million people will be acutely food insecure and require humanitarian assistance over the next six months until February 2017. The main contributory factors are the below-average performance of the 2016 long rains, characterised by poor temporal and uneven spatial distribution, livestock and crop pests and diseases, resource-based conflicts, terror-related threats, especially in areas bordering Somalia, human-wildlife conflicts, and high food prices in certain areas.

Pastoral areas recorded modest improvements in rangeland conditions following the long rains, which varied across the zones. Most reported good to fair rangeland conditions, except for areas of substantial rainfall deficit which reported poor rangeland conditions, atypical for this time of year. Pasture and browse conditions were reported to be good to fair, especially in northern, north-western and agro-pastoral areas, and in parts of the north-eastern pastoral areas of Mandera and Wajir. However, pasture was largely fair to poor in the north-eastern pastoral areas of Garissa, Tana River and Isiolo, with some areas reporting depleted pasture. Water access for both livestock and domestic use was within normal levels in most pastoral areas, with the exception of the areas of rainfall deficit previously mentioned. Likewise, livestock body condition was good to fair in most areas but seasonally deteriorating as the dry season sets in. Livestock outmigration to dry season grazing areas was noted and is normal for this time of year, although in some areas such as Garissa, Tana River and Isiolo it was taking place earlier than normal. Most markets were operating normally, except in parts of the KenyaSomalia border area affected by insecurity. In most counties livestock (goat) prices were favourable and above the five-year average but are now seasonally deteriorating. The exception was Isiolo, where goat prices were up to 11 percent below average. Maize prices in most areas were stable or had marginally increased between May and July 2016, attributed to adequate availability and low demand.

Consequently, the goat-to-cereal terms of trade, used as a proxy for measuring the purchasing power of households, were favourable, being 18 – 45 percent above the long term average (LTA) in most counties, except in Isiolo where they were 12 percent below the LTA.