Laikipia County: 2016 Long Rains Food Security Assessment Report (August 2016)



1.1 County Background

Laikipia County consists of three administrative sub-counties namely: Laikipia East, Laikipia North, and Laikipia West. It covers an area of 9,462 square kilometers and supports a population of 399,227 people (KNBS, 2009 census). The county has four main livelihood zones: Mixed farming (MF), Marginal mixed farming (MMF), Formal employment and Pastoral (Figure 1).


2.1 Current Food Security Situation

The county is generally in the “None or Minimal” food insecurity classification phase (IPC Phase 1) except parts of pastoral livelihood zone which are in “Stressed” phase (IPC Phase 2).The current factors affecting food security include: late onset and early cessation of rains affecting crop production in MF, MMF livelihood zones, frost bite destroying crops in parts of MMF zone, high cost of farm inputs, livestock pests and diseases, human wildlife and Agro pastoralists conflicts and in-migration of livestock from other counties, poor road and water infrastructure.

Food consumption has generally improved with proportion of households with acceptable food consumption score (FCS) increasing to 91 percent in MF and MMF and 62 percent in pastoral livelihood zone. This improvement is attributed to increased food production in MF and MMF zones, combined with inflow from main import markets that has sustained food supply and continued to stabilize market prices. Water availability and access is currently stable and adequate for both livestock and domestic use (at least 15litres/person/day). Dietary diversity is good in MF and MMF as households are consuming 2-3 meals per day comprising 4-5 food groups mainly cereals, legumes, milk, vegetable and fruits. However, households in the pastoral livelihood zones have inadequate dietary diversity with households consuming 1-2 meals per day consisting of 2-3 food groups. Coping strategy index (CSI) has reduced in MF and MMF from 27 in May 2015 to 15 in May 2016, indicating improved household access to food. Conversely in the pastoral zone, CSI has increased from 18 in May 2015 to 21 in May 2016, signifying increased household stress due to limited access to food.

The nutritional status is stable with 2.2 percent of children under five years being at risk of malnutrition. Prevalence of underweight for children 0-59 months has remained stable at 6.2 percent, which is below the long term mean of 8.2 percent. Improved nutritional status is attributed to ongoing nutrition interventions and improved food consumption. Crude mortality rate (CMR) and under-fives mortality rate (U5DR) is 0.36/10,000/day and 0.48/10,000/day, which is below the alert cut offs of CMR: 0.5/10,000/day and U5DR: 1/10,000/day respectively.