Kenya

Laikipia County: Drought Early Warning Bulletin for August 2013

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Situation Overview

  • In August, Laikipia County received moderate to high rainfall. Most MMF and MF zones recorded a high amount of rainfall (on average 14 days) except Matanya and Endana. The pastoral areas recorded the least amount of rainfall mainly in Kimanjo (3 days), Illingwesi (0 days) and Doldol areas. The ranching zones also recorded good amounts of rainfall.

  • The water levels in water sources in the County were sufficient at such time of the year.
    Their yield was boosted by the recent rains therefore the flows were slightly above normal compared to other years during the same period. The main water sources remain Pans and dams, shallow wells, boreholes, natural rivers, traditional river wells and springs

  • Some of the constraints to water access were lack of storage tanks especially in areas of Shauri and the decreasing volume of river water in Illingwesi and at the same time in Endana the distances to water points where they have one borehole and it takes a lot of time to fetch water especially in Mutirithia and Two-Two areas.

  • The County as a whole, natural vegetation and pasture situation is fair. In MMF and ranching zones, pasture and forage are plenty and accessible though slightly deteriorating in quantity and quality in certain areas (i.e. Endana). In the pastoral zones of Illingwesi and Kimanjo, the vegetation cover is fair though it is fast deteriorating due to lack of enough rain in the areas.

  • During the month under review, the body condition of livestock was fair tending to good but deteriorating in Marginal Mixed farming areas of Lamuria, Munyaka, Daiga and Central Rumuruti.

  • Maize prices at the markets slightly increased by 2% to Kshs 36.7 compared to previous month’s Kshs 35.9. The present prices are slightly higher than the long term averages of 2008-2012 at Kshs 35 in August.

  • During the month under review, Laikipia County recorded a 4.6% decrease in milk production, a less than 1% decrease in milk consumption and a 15% decrease in milk sales.
    The average price of milk across the County was Kshs 30, a slight increase compared to the previous month.

  • In August, the major agricultural activities recorded in the County were harvesting of crops such as wheat, maize (especially in Withare where farmers are harvesting premature maize in order to avoid loss to wild animals), potatoes, land preparation and planting in Laikipia Central for the Short rains mainly potatoes. Maize is at the milking stages in most areas.

  • In nutrition, the County recorded a decreased average MUAC trend from 5.28% during the previous month to 4.1%. This is attributed to the increased food availability due to the ongoing rains.

  • In August, no major disease outbreaks were recorded in the County except reports of unconfirmed cases of livestock diseases such as FMD in Muruku, Laikipia west, Laikipia east and central (Munyaka) CCPP in parts of Laikipia west, CBPP and crop diseases such as cutworms, Aphids and bollworms in crops in MMF zones.

  • In August, a kilo of meat was able to purchase 3.02 kg of cereal compared to previous month’s 3.68 kg of the same, which is 18% decrease. Currently, the terms of trade have slightly shifted towards pastoral areas. A normal shoat of 15kg costing an average of Kshs 1,762 compared to previous month’s Kshs 2,150 is able to purchase 45.30 kg (compared to July’s 55.18 kg of cereal).

  • During the month under review, the sales rate for cattle increased slightly while that of goats and sheep decreased significantly. An increase in the sales rate of cattle was recorded in MMF and ranching zones while a slight decrease was recorded in the formal employment/ trade zone

  • During the month under review, there were cases of human wildlife conflict across the County such as the destruction of maize crop by elephants in Withare areas of Kijabe and Exerock. Minimal cases of wildlife encroachment were reported in Mwenje (area eighteen) and are expected to escalate as happens this time of the year.