Kwale County: 2016 Short Rains Food Security Assessment Report (February 2017)

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Executive Summary

The county is currently classified as stressed (IPC phase 2). There was total crop failure across the livelihood zones. Livestock prices are on the decline eroding households’ purchasing power.
However, the terms of trade (TOT) are favorable since households were able to purchase 76 kilograms of maize with the sale of one medium-sized goat as compared to 71 kilograms normally.
The food consumption score show a deteriorating situation with 20, 46 and 34 percent of households having poor, borderline and acceptable food consumption scores respectively. Most households are accessing food from the markets and the terms of trade are fairly good. Water availability and accessibility have severely been affected in the mixed farming food crop and livestock zones. The coping strategy index is currently 22 compared to 16 for July 2016, an indication of a worsening situation. The severity of coping mechanisms employed to bridge the food gaps have also increased. The proportion of children who are at risk of malnutrition based on Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC <135mm) declined by 0.4 percent in December 2016 to 5.3 percent from 5.7 percent in November The main drivers of food and nutrition security in the County are rainfall Performance and commodity prices. A large proportion of the population depends on rainfall either for crop production or for livestock rearing. With the inadequate short rains season of 2016, crop failure is widespread in the mixed farming livelihood zones coupled with inadequate pasture in livestock farming zone. The failed season has subsequently affected the four pillars of food security. Food availability is scarce at household level due to declined household stocks.
However, staple food is available in the market across the county. Physical access to the markets is efficient through good access roads and financial access is good due to the favourable terms of trade for the livestock farmers. Water availability, accessibility and consumption are within the seasonal norms. Adequate water is available for food preparation as well as other domestic uses.
However water treatment is minimal across the livelihood zones using open water sources.
Households are expected to continue accessing staple foods from the markets whereby supply to these markets is expected to remain stable.