Laikipia County: Drought Early Warning Bulletin for April 2017
Drought Situation & EW Phase Classification
Rainfall: The long (MAM) rains were expected to commence in the third week of March (according to the seasonal calendar) but delayed by a month. For the month of April, the County has experienced light sporadic showers at the start of the month to mid-month and heavy showers towards the end of the month. The recorded rainfall was way below average compared to the long term. The received rainfall was 50% of the expected amount for the month. The rainfall distribution was poor in terms of time and space across all livelihood zones.
Vegetation Condition: The Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) is way below the normal range, indicating a very poor state of pasture and browse condition across most areas. According to field observations, the pasture condition in MF zones was poor while in the Pastoral zones and most MMF zones the same was very poor largely due to the poor regeneration coupled with overgrazing. The browse condition was largely fair to poor across all livelihood zones.
Socio Economic Indicators (Impact Indicators) Production Indicators – Livestock migration patterns in the pastoral and some MMF zones were not normal for the time of the year. Milk production per household was below the normal range but had recorded a slight improvement. Livestock deaths due to drought were reported. The body condition of animals was way below the normal range for the period and is fast deteriorating. Increased livestock deaths were observed.
Access indicators - The terms of trade were way below the normal range. The return distance from water sources to grazing areas in Pastoral zones was way past the normal range.
Utilization indicators – were all still within the normal range. The EW phase is Alarm – deteriorating for the whole County. The effects of severe drought are being felt across the County. In view of the situation, it is important to continue and upscale drought mitigation and response activities across the County.