Kenya: Moyale district 2008 long rains assessment report 14 - 18 Jul


1 Introduction

1.1 District Background Information

Moyale District covers an area of 9,749km2 with the 2007 population estimated at about 61,368 people. The District is in the northern arid lands of Kenya and lies in ecological zones IV and V. It borders Ethiopia to the North, Marsabit to the North West, Isiolo to the South and Wajir to the North East. The district has four administrative divisions namely Uran, Obbu, Central and Golbo with the last two divisions having the highest population concentration.

The district has three livelihood zones: Pastoral, Agro-Pastoral and Formal Employment/Business/Petty trade; though Pastoral and Agro-pastoral zones predominate. Agro-pastoral communities are mainly concentrated in the northern parts of the district bordering Ethiopia. This zone covers three divisions; Central Division in the North Eastern parts, Northern parts of Obbu Division, and Northern part of Uran Division. The main crops grown in these areas include maize, beans, sorghum, teff, green grams and cowpeas. The other parts of these Divisions and Golbo Division lie in the pastoral zone of the district with a small percentage lying in the Urban Centres with concentration mainly in Moyale town ship and Sololo market centre.

Rainfall pattern is bimodal with short rains experienced between October and December while the long rains start in March and end in May. Rainfall ranges from 300mm to 800mm with an average of 500mm per annum.

1.2 History of Relief Operation

The district has been under Emergency operations since 2006. Phase IV of the EMOP began in March 2006 with an initial target of 27,445 beneficiaries which is 44.5% of the district population receiving 1659.78MT of food. Other than general food distribution, the district has been targeted under supplementary feeding operations and food for assets interventions.

Currently, the district is in Phase VII of the EMOP which commenced in December 2007 targeting the four divisions under Food For Asset intervention. A total number of 2,753 households with 16,519 beneficiaries were targeted in the first quarter of the phase. After the short rains assessment, the number increased to 3,984 households with 23,908 beneficiaries, 39% of the total population. 29 FFA projects have been fully implemented and completed in the four divisions. A total of 1,129.86 MT of food constituting cereals, pulses, vegetable oil and Corn Soya Blend was distributed at a ration of 5.175 Kgs, 0.9 Kgs, 0.3 Kgs and 0.6 Kgs par day respectively. About 943 have benefited through the Supplementary Feeding Program.

1.3 Food Security Trends

The food security situation in the district improved marginally after the long rains. This has resulted in adequate pasture regeneration both in the pastoral and agro- pastoral zones. The recharge of water sources was below normal in the pastoral zones but adequate in the agro pastoral zones. At the moment, both humans and livestock are being serviced by pans and dams. Overall livestock body conditions are quite good. However, milk available to households has reduced owing to the fact that the herds are away from most settlements. Due to low milk productivity of the remaining herds, the average price of milk has increased from Ksh 5 - 6 to Ksh 10 - 15 per 300 ml cup. In some parts of Godoma in Golbo division, milk is supplied from neighbouring North Eastern province. The trend is projected to remain stable in the next 6 months. However, the escalation in food prices and influx of livestock and human population could undermine the situation.

1.4 Summary of recommendations

The agro-pastoral zones of the district experienced above average rains this season. About 70% of the targeted land for maize production was planted. However, due to late planting, lack of requisite farm inputs and army worm attack, it resulted in 90% maize crop failure. Nevertheless, about 58% (327 90kg bags) of bean crop was harvested. Conversely, the pastoral areas did not receive adequate rains necessary to fully recharge water sources. The drought in southern Ethiopia has led to in-migration of livestock and people into the district threatening both pasture and water resources. The recommended responses addressing the ensuing threats include:

- Relief food for a smaller population of the district through FFA

- Peace building initiatives to continue

- Disease surveillance/ Vaccination, livestock movement control

- Water tankering in the pastoral zones

- Provision of drought tolerant planting materials, ploughs, training of oxen

- Pasture development

- Rehabilitation of boreholes, pans and dams

- Roof catchment water harvesting in schools