The Kenya Cash Consortium locust response market monitoring initiative, ASAL counties of Kenya, August 2020

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The invasion by desert locusts in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) counties that started in December of 2019 is still ongoing as per reports by the Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in August 2020.1 The Government of Kenya and the FAO have been working hand in hand to contain the locusts and avert the threat that the pests pose to food security for both livestock and people living in the affected counties.

The desert locusts have affected large expanses of cropland and pasture, leading to increased likelihood of food insecurity, exacerbating the vulnerabilities and needs of local communities. This has had ripple effects on other sectors of the economy such as manufacturing and service industries in this areas which has caused negative changes in the markets.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Kenya in August 2020 have continued to rise since the first confirmed case was reported in March 2020. Kenya has been undertaking various measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 including restrictions of movement, closure of public spaces with high human traffic such as schools and public events, dusk to dawn curfews, ensuring basic hygiene and social distancing.

These precautionary measures continue to have negative economic impacts on businesses, markets and workers with the country witnessing job cuts accross various sectors and income of businesses and available working hours falling significantly.

To understand the local market systems and inform humanitarian programming in the light of the desert locust invasion and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kenya Cash Consortium (KCC) led by ACTED in partnership with Oxfam and Concern Worldwide (CWW) with the support of IMPACT Initiatives conducted a joint market monitoring excercise in local markets in Turkana, Mandera, Samburu, Isiolo, Marsabit and Wajir counties. The KCC works with local implementing partners including; The Pastoralists Community Initiative and Development Assistance (PACIDA) and Sustainable Approaches for Community Empowerment (SAPCONE) working in Marsabit and Turkana respectively on behalf of CWW, Merti Intergrated Development Programme (MIDP) and Wajir South Development Association (WASDA) in Isiolo and Wajir respectively on behalf of Oxfam and Rural Agency for Community Development and Assistance (RACIDA) in Mandera on behalf of ACTED. In Samburu, ACTED is implementing the activities directly.
From August 2020, the market monitoring will be conducted on a bimonthly basis until the end of the project in December 2020.

This factsheet presents an overview of the median prices and the change in median prices of food and non-food items (NFIs), stock levels, days required to restock and the challenges experienced by local community members and vendors in the assessed ASAL counties in light of the locust invasion. The findings are indicative of the assessed locations and the timeframe in which the data was collected.