Laikipia County: Drought Early Warning Bulletin for February 2014


Situation Overview

  • During the month of February, the County experienced few days of rainfall in all the Marginal Mixed farming areas except Endana. The ranching zone Kimakandura reported very little showers with poor distribution. In the Pastoral (All Species) zone, Kimanjo and Illingwesi recorded two days of heavy downpour which had fair distribution in Kimanjo but in Illingwesi it was poor in distribution. This is evident as observed during the process of collection of reports from the sentinel’s sites and also as per the observations seen while on drought monitoring and collection of house hold questionnaires from the sites.

  • The water levels in the County’s water sources were on an abnormal trend since most of the sources of water in the county recorded decline in amount of water at a high rate due to the high temperatures in especially in the Pastoral Zones of Illingwesi and Kimanjo and also the challenges of walking long distances to get water for both household and livestock use of which most of the sources (dams, rock catchments and hand pump) water are dirty. In Illingwesi pans and dams are totally dry and the communities rely on traditional river wells which are also drying up and a distance from the community. In the MMF zones, the water sources have remained natural rivers which have reduced in quantity, boreholes, Dams, Pans, rivers and Wells.

  • Constraints to water access reported during the month in the entire sentinel sites include totally drying up of some dams especially in Pastoral areas, dirty water and distance to water sources. The accessibility and availability of water for both households and livestock was recorded at increasing distance and also pollution by wildlife in some sentinel sites.

  • Due to the few days of heavy rains observed in most of the sentinel sites signs of pasture and forage improvement have been observed. Some areas which were very dry and dusty are now a bit green and the dusty condition has slightly reduced. pasture and forage situation was good to fair across all Livelihood zones except in the pastoral zones And Ranching Zones and Parts of MMF like Endana where the pasture in some parts is still deteriorating.
    Although there is increased cases of animal movements towards ranches like Olpajeta,
    Doldol forest and other ranches within the county.

  • During the month under review, the body condition of livestock was fair to good in MF zones and parts of MMF and good in the rest of the zone. However, there is the likelihood of the pasture deteriorating in most of the MMF, Pastoral sites and ranching areas since the pasture and browse is expected to last until mid March.

  • During the month under review, average maize prices at the markets slightly increased to Ksh.37.2 compared to previous month’s Ksh 34.9. The present prices are slightly higher than the long term averages of 2008-2012 at Ksh 29 in February.

  • During the month under review, Laikipia County recorded a 7% decrease in the quantity of milk produced, a 9% decrease in milk consumption and a 5% decrease in milk sales. The decline in milk production has been recorded from December last year onwards.

  • During the month under review, the County recorded a slightly increased average MUAC (Mid Upper Arm Circumference) trend from 3.3% in January to 3.85% as at February. The highest MUAC percentage levels were recorded in Magadi (Olmoran) at 19%.

  • No major human disease outbreaks were recorded in the County except reported cases of respiratory tract infections for children, common colds which are common during this season and bouts of Chickenpox cases reported in Umande Sentinel site but were treated at different hospitals.

  • There are reported cases of FMD, Lung Diseases and worms in livestock especially in the MMF areas of Olmoran, Illingwesi (Lower Sanga areas) Endana and Minor cases of fungal infection on tomatoes and cabbages were reported in Mwenje area in MMF zone.

  • For the terms of trade, a kilo of meat is able to purchase 2.9 Kg of cereal compared to previous month’s 3.3 Kg of the same, hence the terms of trade are still favoring Pastoral zones.

  • There were cases of human wildlife conflict reported across the County such as the destruction of the maize crop by Zebras, Eland and Baboons which was reported in Withare and Mwenje and Illingwesi by which may result in low harvest of crops all of which are in the MMF zones except illingwesi which is pastoral zone.