1.1 County Background
Kitui County has eight sub-counties namely; Kitui Central, Kitui South, Kitui East, Kitui Rural, Kitui West, Mwingi North, Mwingi West and Mwingi Central. There are three livelihood zones in the County: marginal mixed farming, mixed farming livelihood zone and formal employment. (Figure 1). The County has a population of 1,012,710 people2 and covers an area of 30,570 square kilometers, of which 6,370 square kilometers is covered by Tsavo national park.
2.0 COUNTY FOOD SECURITY SITUATION
2.1 Current Food Security Situation
The County is currently classified in None/Minimal (IPC Phase 1) except part of marginal mixed farming (Kitui South sub-county) which is in Stressed (IPC Phase 2). The projected maize crop production in Kitui East and Kitui South counties is 1000 bags and zero compared to the LTA of 9,000 and 10,200 bags respectively. In spite of the county receiving normal to above normal rains and good temporal distribution, the spatial distribution was uneven.
County wide, the maize stocks at household level stands at 125 percent above the LTA, mainly in the mixed farming (MF) livelihood zone, while in marginal mixed farming (MMF) livelihood zone of Kitui East and Kitui South, households are holding approximately 42 percent of the LTA. The maize prices remained stable and currently 81% of the LTA, while the terms of Trade (TOT) were favourable at 104 Kilograms (Kgs) of maize from sale of a goat which favoured households in the marginal mixed farming zones who rely on markets. The pasture and browse condition was good to fair in all livelihood zones except pockets of marginal mixed farming (Sosoma, Ukasi, Kaningo, Ngomeni, Nuu, Ikutha, Mutha and Kanyangi) which was fair to poor.
Livestock body condition was good to fair across both mixed farming and marginal mixed farming. Food consumption score improved in the households with 91 percent of the households having an acceptable food consumption score compared to 73 percent in same period 2015. Meal frequency in mixed farming livelihood zone is normal at 2-3 meals per day while in marginal mixed farming livelihood zone the frequency is 1-2 meals per day against a normal of 2-3 meals per day. The dietary diversity consists of cereals and occasionally consumed with pulses across the two livelihood zones. The mean coping strategy index (CSI) reduced from 20 in May 2015, to 13 in May 2016, implying households were employing less severe coping mechanisms. No unusual mortalities and outbreak of diseases were reported in the County.