Kitui County Early Warning Flag - March 2015

Situation Report
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Drought Situation & EW Phase Classification

Biophysical indicators show unusual fluctuations outside expected seasonal ranges. The three Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) for the entire county is 19.43 indicating severe drought. In Marginal mixed farming livelihood zone, though some improvement in pasture condition is expected following the onset of the long rains the VCI values for Mwingi Central and Mwingi North Sub Counties remained low at 7.4 & 12.7 respectively.

Three Production indicators and one access indicator are also fluctuating outside the seasonal ranges for the period.

No livestock migration patterns were reported and this is normal for this period of the year. Due to the dry spell that prevailed throughout the month the body condition for cattle declined. Many herds have cattle with signs of emaciation. Incidences of CCPP were reported in Tseikuru which led to the death of15 goats. Finally, both milk production and consumption is below long term average. Since both biophysical and production indicators are outside normal ranges, the EW phase in the Marginal mixed farming livelihood is in alert stage. However, following the onset of the long rains the situation is likely to improve.

Drought risks are medium; the onset of long rains was late, pastures have been depleted in marginal mixed farming livelihood zone and the available stored crop residues are fast depleting.
However, drought risks might increase considerably if no significant rains are received in the next one month, with a worsening alarm scenario developing Mwingi North and Central sub counties. In view of the current alert situation, it is necessary to promptly activate the county drought contingency plans especially in support to livestock production, Health and Nutrition and Water and Sanitation.
The utilization indicators fluctuated within the normal seasonal ranges though the frequency of use of food consumption coping strategies increased

Current Drought Risk: Medium

The performance of the long rains is projected to improve the current food security situation through April but the scenario is likely to worsen beginning May if the rains perform dismally