Kenya Program Update 07 -13 Aug 1997

Turkana and Kajiado districts received some rain during the reported period.

Marsabit remained dry for the week. Forage and water in Turkana, Wajir and

Kajiado are still available for the livestock.


Some showers were received in Kajiado in the last week. Forage and browse is

fair and livestock conditions are still good. Milk is available.

In the areas with some agricultural potential, farmers have started harvesting

maize and beans. However, like in areas reported earlier, the dry spell that followed

the April rains resulted in crop wilting and hence low harvests. Short rains are

expected in October.

Distribution of UNIMIX in the identified nine centers is complete and all the 7 MT

have been distributed to 1,406 beneficiaries. The UNIMIX was part of the donation

from the Nairobi Round Table Charity.


The week was dry in Turkana. However, from the rains received earlier, forage and

browse regeneration is continuing and is still in good condition. Livestock condition

is good, milk production is high and the animals are kidding and lambing.

The rivers, Kerio and Turkwel are flowing continuously and surface water sources

like pans still have water. Maize and sorghum harvesting is going on in the

irrigation schemes. A harvest assessment in one of the irrigation schemes is being

carried to monitor the actual harvest.

Nutritional status is within the expected range in most of the district. Malnutrition

rates among the under fives in Kalokol, earlier reported to be high, has dropped

primarily due to availability of milk.

Maize and beans are available in the local markets.


Weather conditions in Marsabit changed into chilly mornings and hot/windy afternoons

with clear sky nights. Some forage is available but water is largely unavailable. The

animals are still in good condition but this is likely to change if no rains are received.

Most farmers did not get a crop from their maize and beans and even for those who

did, the harvests were 25% of the expected. The short rains are expected in October

and subject to the amount and reliability, next crop will be received in January 1998.

From the current trend, there will be a new phase of famine before the next harvest.

Plans for a relief intervention are in the process.


Temperatures remained hot in Wajir, 320C. There is still very good forage and browse

for the livestock and water is also available.

Wajir relief program is supporting farming groups through provision of farming

tools and improving water sources. During the week, the groups received 8 hoes, 6

machetes, 4 axes and 4 mattocks. Two groups were each assisted to construct a

water tough and cap a well for irrigation of kitchen gardens.

In one of the farming areas, Habasweni, farmers are harvesting Katumani Composite

maize and sorghum.


Close monitoring is necessary in Kajiado and efforts to encourage food production

in Wajir and Turkana irrigation projects will be continued as well as stepped up.