Kenya: Turkana districts 2008 long rains assessment report 14 - 18 Jul 2008



The greater Turkana coveres a total area of 77,000 square Kilometers, estimated combined population 521,491 and comprises of three Districts namely Turkana Central, Turkana South and Turkana North. Turkana North has 7 divisions: Kaaling', Kakuma, Kibish, Lapur, Lokichoggio, Lokitaung and Oropoi divisions. It covers an estimated area of 35,000sq.Km with a total population of 250,760. Turkana Central district consists of five divisions namely Central, Kalokol, Kerio, Loima, and Turkwell. It covers a total area of 14,000 sq. Km with a total population of 189,603.Turkana South district covers a total area of 18,000sq.Km with a population of 81,128. It comprises of five divisions namely Kainuk, Katilu, Lokichar, Lokori and Lomelo.

The greater Turkana shares international borders with Ethiopia to the North, Sudan to the Northwest and Uganda to the West. Within Kenya, it borders: Marsabit to the East, Samburu to the South East, Baringo and West Pokot District to the South. Much of the Eastern flank of the District lies on Lake Turkana, which stretches North-South for more than 200 km.

There are four livelihood zones namely, pastoral, agro-pastoral, fisher folk and formal employment. The pastoral livelihood is the most predominant, covering more than 90% of the district. Kerio, Turkwel, and Tarach are the major rivers in the district. Kerio and Tarach rivers are seasonal while Turkwel is permanent.

Current Food Aid interventions in Turkana started in 2004 as an initiative of GOK/UN and partner NGOs. The case load for the district has fluctuated over the years. As of now, food distribution covers all the 17 divisions with a targeted population of 245,733 beneficiaries up from 190,871 following a recent appeal from the DSG Turkana. The distribution is done through various modalities, namely general distribution, food for assets and cash for work. Targeted Supplementary Feeding Programme is currently implemented in all divisions except Kibish.


2.1 Overall Food Security Situation

The greater Turkana is a net importer of food commodities mainly from Trans-Nzoia and West Pokot. Significant increase of motor fuel, coupled with effects of post election conflicts in parts of the country have led to an increase in the price of cereals. Cereal prices have increased by a margin of over 50% to 100% in most parts of the greater Turkana. According to the District Agriculture Office, retailers have resorted to reducing the size of the measuring container by between 100 to 150 grams from the normal 500grams containers in the market. This is to ensure that the traders continue making profits despite the rising wholesale prices while limiting complaints from consumers. Terms of trade are unfavourable due to the increasing food prices and reducing livestock prices as a result of deteriorating livestock body conditions. Consequently, food security situation is worsening in the district due to the following reasons: -

- The failure of 2007 short rains coupled with inadequate 2008 long rains led to poor regeneration of pasture/browse and inadequate recharge of water sources

- Crop failure in rain fed agricultural zones and expected reduced harvest in irrigated farms

- Livestock diseases such as PPR, CCPP, CBPP

- Insecurity due to cattle rustling, especially in the southern, some parts of central and northern regions

- Displacement of people by both PEV and cattle rustling