Kenya

Kitui District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, November 2006

Attachments

Situation overview

Future food prospects look bright if the rains persist

Cops are at the various stages of physiological growth ranging from germination to knee- high

Households have started consuming green cowpeas leaves

Pasture and browse are plenty

There is a remarkable improvement in livestock body conditions

Water is plenty and accessible to all.

The price of both cereals and pulses remained stable

The price of cattle remained within the previous months ranges.

Recommendations to DSG and KFSM

The district steering group to conduct should conduct a short rains performance assessment

Continuous monitoring of floods along the relatively bigger seasonal rivers

Current Interventions

Non Food Interventions

Tree planting campaigns by DSG members

Pasture establishments by ALRMP and department of livestock

Disease surveillance by Vet. Department

MEDP by ADRA Kenya (Kitui DAP)is loaning farmers to access seeds

Food aid

EMOP is ongoing

Food for work by ADRA Kenya- targeting water projects and opening of roads

Feeding of vulnerable (children and aged) -ADRA

1.0 STABILITY

1.1 Rainfall

The short rains started on time in most locations of the district. During the month of the November the district received above normal amounts of rainfall that were spatially well distributed and of high intensity. The average number of rainy days was 16 days, but the highest number of wet days was recorded in Mwitika division - 21 days. Though the food security is not expected to improve immediately there are prospects that the district will produce enough food to last for at least 6(six) months.

Crucial roads, particularly between Zombe, Mutitu and Mwitika divisions were rendered impassable because of the heavy rains, in some instances completely curtailing the transportation of essential food other household supplies.

1.2 Natural Vegetation and Pasture Condition

Pasture is plenty and the vegetation has remarkably regenerated. Though the rains started towards the end of October they intensified during the first three weeks of November and the pasture has responded well. The trend is expected to continue up to the end of December.

1.3 Water Sources and Availability

The rains have tremendously improved access to water. All the water facilities are fully recharged and communities have access to water at almost nil distance. Isolated cases of water facilities, particularly earth pans and sand dams having been washed away were reported in some areas.

The trend is expected to continue if the rains persist.

1.4 Implications on Food Security

As earlier mentioned the food security situation is not expected to improve immediately but the above indicators have a positive bearing towards attaining food security. Both human beings and livestock have access to water throughout the day. In addition there is adequate forage for livestock.

2.0 AVAILABILITY

2.1 Livestock Body Condition

The weak animals have started recovering whereas those that were in good body conditions have fattened further. This improvement is attributed to availability of forage and water within the grazing areas. The trend is normal

2.2 Livestock Diseases

Isolated cases of intestinal worm infestation, heart water, Anaplasmosis and foot rot were reported in the marginal mixed livelihood zone. The incidences of worm infestation are attributed to hatching of larvae following the onset of rains whereas Heart water and anaplasmosis have been caused by ticks and wetness both at the grazing areas and in the pens respectively. The trend is normal.

2.3 Crop Production

2.3.1 Timeliness & status of crop

Planting begun in time but was shortly curtailed by the heavy rains that water logged farms forcing farmers to suspended planting for the better part of the month. The early planted crop is doing well, maize is averagely at Knee- high stage whereas beans and cowpeas have started developing flower pods. In other areas ( Mutonguni & Yatta Divisions) planting is on going.

2.3.2 Pests and diseases

No major pests and diseases were reported.

2.4 Implication on food security

Future food security looks bright. The better livestock health condition is an indication that both kidding and calving are going to be high and livestock prices are going to rise steadily.

If the rains continue but with low intensity and regularly the district is going to experience a barber harvest which will produce enough stocks that can last for at least six month.