Kenya: Tharaka Nroth and South districts drought monthly bulletin, Dec 2009

Situation Report
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Situation overview

- Then month was the wettest during the short rains season, with heavy downpours experienced in the last two weeks in most parts of Tharaka North and Tharaka south districts. Such heavy rains are not normal for this month which marks cessation of October- December short rains. The ongoing rains may affect the quality of then mature crop in the field.

- Except for beans, crop performance was fairly good in all livelihood zones and harvesting of pulses such as green grams, beans and cowpeas was ongoing. Cereals were at grain filling and milk stages. The key activity was therefore harvesting and field pest control. Among the stubborn pests reported in the month were the pod borers which attacked green grams, cowpeas, millets and sorghums. Control measures by the ministry of agriculture through demonstrations and the farmers have successfully managed the menace in good time.

- The newly harvested crop- mainly pulses hit markets from then second week of the month and prices were fairly good.

- Forage was adequate for herders and browsers and water situation was also good. Livestock health and body condition was good thoroughout the month under review.

- Food from current harvests has notably improved households food security in the two districts.

- There was a slight decline in child nutrition status and out of the 1003 children monitored in the month, 8.6% were found to be at risk of malnutrition (MUAC <135mm), having declined slightly from 8.5% recorded last month.