Kilifi/Kaloleni/Ganze Districts: Drought Monthly Bulletin, November 2009

Situation Report
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Situation overview

- An average amount of 115.9 mm was recorded for an average 6.6 days this month, an increase of 18.6% compared to last month's 97.7. This was owed to the increased precipitation thought to be El Nino rains. Heavy down pours were experienced in most parts of the districts under review, with most livelihoods receiving more than their normal amounts of rainfall. The food cropping livelihood zone however, received much less than normal which may adversely affect crop production in this grain basket of the region.

- The rains had very positive impact on the quality and quantity of natural vegetation and pasture in the region. The changes were noteworthy as grazing distances reduced drastically by 73.1%, giving livestock a reprieve after months of long treks to access water.

- Household access to water also improved this month as water sources filled with water. They now had to walk only 1.2km this month compared to 5km in October, reducing the distance by an impressive 76%. This is likely to reduce the water-borne diseases that had plagued the district during the drought.

- Livestock prices fluctuated a little this month compared to last month. Goats' prices increased slightly by 12.8% from Ksh1,100 last month to Ksh1,241 this month, the increase was due to Idd-Ul-Hajj celebrations. Those of cattle dropped by 7.9% from Ksh8,000 last month to Ksh7,363 this month. However, with increased livestock feed, their body condition is likely to improve thereby improving their prices in the next few months.

- Cereal-legume crops still maintained their relatively high prices this month as a kilogram of maize retailed at Ksh32 while that of beans sold at Ksh80.5. This was slightly higher than their long-term averages by approximately 2% and 3.2% for maize and beans respectively. The districts are slowly recovering from the stifling high prices of food commodities as a result of the drought and more price reductions are expected towards the end of the year as bounty harvests are expected this season as a result of sufficient and evenly distributed rains.

- The average daily wage rate improved this month by 16.1% from Ksh147.3 last month to Ksh 171.3 this month. Most households were busy on their farms with on-farm activities such as planting and weeding which made the wage rate to increase.

- The nutrition status of children below five years (based on MUAC<135mm measurement) declined during the month under review, with the percentage of those rated at risk of malnutrition increasing by 3.3% from 5% in October to 8.30%. However, with increased milk production and consumption at household level, this trend is likely to improve and turn around for the better.

- The early warning trend for the three districts is alert with an improving trend.