Findings of the 2015 Long Rains Assessment (LRA) indicate that about 1.1 million people are acutely food insecure and cannot meet their basic dietary requirements, hence requiring immediate food assistance for the next six months (September 2015 – February 2016). This represents a 31 percent decline in the number of food insecure populations from the last short rains assessment in February, implying general improvements in households food security conditions (Figure 1.1). Improvement in the food security situation is attributed to average-to-above-average between March – May cumulative rains across most parts of the high and medium potential areas, pastoral and marginal agricultural livelihood zones. In the pastoral and agro-pastoral areas, the rains resulted in improvements in rangeland conditions thereby boosting livestock production activities, after a poor 2014 short rains season. The increased availability of rangeland resources supported some kidding, lambing, and calving activities, albeit at below-normal rates, while milk production and consumption at household level also increased. Improvements in livestock body conditions supported favourable livestock prices across most markets resulting in some increase in household income from sale of livestock. Increased income also boosted access to food, which further improved household food consumption and nutritional status.
The main objective of the assessment was to determine the impact of the long rains season on various sectors including agriculture and livestock production, water for livestock and domestic use, health and nutrition, education, market operations and trade. All these are key in terms of food security either as outcome indictors or contributing factors. The assessment looked at the impacts on these sectors and made recommendations on the type of interventions that various actors should take to improve the food security situation of the general populations. Interventions were in form of immediate measures to address acute food insecurity aspects or medium to long term approaches meant to reduce the vulnerability of the communities.