Kilifi District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, December 2007


Situation overview:

- The short rain season has just ended. The average amount of rainfall collected was 38 mm for 4 days. The hinterland received the highest amounts of rainfall where the Marginal Mixed Farming and Ranching LZs are to be found.

- A number of farmers have short rain season crop planted but the performance is poor due the erratic rains. With most farms indicating an eminent crop failure.

- Distances to water sources were reduced by 55% and 40% for livestock and human beings respectively.

- There was improved forage, browse and pasture for livestock this month which led to their improved body condition. This made them fetch high prices at the retail markets thereby increasing the purchasing power of households.

- Casual labour was the main source of income this month followed by the sale of charcoal. The demand for casual labour shot up mainly because of the on-farm activities in preparation for the short rain season. The average daily wage rate increased by 32% from Kshs 112 in November to Kshs 147.9 in December.

- Generally there was a decline in the sale of charcoal in the district although it still is a major source of income for households in the Marginal Mixed Farming and Ranching LZs.

- The cereal-legume prices decreased this month mainly because many households had food stocks in store following the harvesting of the long rain season crop. There was therefore readily available food this month.

- Livestock sales shot up this month mainly due to the Christmas festivities which also increased the household's purchasing power.

- Milk production increased mainly in the ranching and Marginal livelihoods however on the overall there was a general decline in consumption at HH level. As is reflected by the increase in the percentage of children at risk in the district.

- Putting all the above into consideration, the food security situation in the district is stable and the trend remains normal.

Recommendations to District authorities/national KFSSG.

- Alternative sources of income should be sought for HHs in the Marginal Mixed Farming, Food cropping and Ranching LZs so that they stop relying on the sale of charcoal as a source of income.

- Dry land farming methods should be promoted such as bee-keeping and small scale irrigation.

- There is need for farmers to be trained on rain water harvesting techniques to reduce the suffering they experience during dry spells.

- The promotion of small scale water harvesting structures in the Marginal and Ranching zones of the District should be should be sustained.

Current interventions

Several bodies are involved in the issue of food security in the district. Some interventions include:-

- KARI was using foliar feed on cashew nuts in Kauma in the Dzunguni FFS. It's also involved in cassava trials and bulking in Chasimba location in Chonyi division and Tsangatsini location in Kaloleni.

- ALRMP in collaboration with World Vision were involved in the promotion of Zai pits farming in Bamba and Vitengeni division.

- ALRMP in collaboration with the Ministry of livestock trained five farmer groups each in Bee Keeping and meat goat upgrading in the marginal divisions of District.

- Three Common Interest Groups were trained by Vet department with ALRMP on disease surveillance and disease monitoring groups formed in three Divisions

- COBA was involved in the excavation of water pans and cassava bulking in Ganze, Vitengeni and Chonyi division.

- CDA is involved in the expansion of FFS in Sokoke, Vitengeni and Mwahera locations in Vitengeni division.

- Plan is involved in building the capacity of FFS and also supplying farm inputs in Sokoke and Vitengeni locations in Vitengeni division.

- AROCHA KENYA is involved in the promotion of tree planting as an asset.

- KARI Mtwapa is involved in cassava varietal trials and is monitoring their growth in Bandari location of Bamba.

- CRSP 'Sombeza' is involved in vegetable promotion, agro-forestry and cassava bulking in Mitangani location in Bamba division and in Tsangatsini in Kaloleni.

DSG meeting and recommendations.

- Close monitoring of the current weather impact on the short season crop should be sustained.

- The current trend of deteriorating MUAC status should be assessed and remedies sought to contain its impact.

- Primary school enrolment and retention levels should be analyzed to assess the impact of the current prevailing drought.

- All stakeholders involved in food security in the District update their mitigation strategies in dealing with drought should the current trend shift from bad to worse.