Laikipia County: Drought Early Warning Bulletin for July 2014

Situation Report
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Situation Overview

  • During the month under review, the County experienced small amounts of rainfall which were poorly distributed in both time and space with moderate rains of approximately 4 days each across all the sentinel sites except in Endana (MMF), Mwenje (MF) and Matanya (MMF). All Marginal Mixed Farming, Mixed Farming and Pastoral zones have reported having 3 days of poor rains during the reporting period. In summary, all other zones received an average of 4 days of rainfall across the County except the ones named above.

  • During the month under review, the water levels in water sources in the County were on a declining trend due to the undercharged water sources owing to the poor and erratic rainfall experienced in the county. Although the few showers experienced may raise the water levels in some sources. The distances to water sources have also increased compared to last month.

  • The pasture and browse condition in Pastoral zones is fair to poor due to the influx of livestock from neighboring counties and poor rainfall whereas in Marginal Mixed Farming (MMF) zones, the situation is tending from fair to good. In Mixed farming (MF) zone, the situation is good. Compared to a normal year by livelihood zone the current pasture situation in Pastoral zones is significantly below normal, Marginal mixed farming zone is slightly below normal and in mixed farming the situation is about normal. The current condition is expected to worsen should there be no more rains again.

  • The body condition of livestock in Pastoral zones is fair but deteriorating for cattle, goat and sheep. This is due to the inadequate pastures and browse in the zone. In the MMF areas the body condition of cattle is declining, goat is static while sheep is on the decline. Central especially should the current continue. The projected body trend is likely to deteriorate in pastoral and Marginal Mixed Farming (MMF) zones but remain static in the Mixed Farming (MF) zone.

  • There was a slight upward rise in the average maize prices at the markets during the month under review. The increase is attributed to the rise in demand at the markets as most farmers have finished their previously withheld stocks from the previous harvest.

  • At the household level, Laikipia County recorded 16% decrease in the quantity of milk produced, 14% decrease in milk consumption and a 14.5% decrease in milk sales. The decrease in milk production could be attributed to increased trekking distances in search of pasture and water, no ample surplus feeds and low quality pasture

  • There was a slight decline in the percentage of children at risk of malnutrition at 3.1%.

  • There were no major human disease outbreaks in the County during the month under review.
    Minor cases of respiratory tract infections for children and adults, common colds, Malaria and fever and unconfirmed cases of Chicken Pox reported. Polio vaccination took place across the county during the period under review.

  • Cases of FMD have been the most reported cases of Livestock disease across all the sentinel sites and particularly the MMF area of Segera and Pastoral zone of Illingwesi. There are also reported cases of unidentified poultry disease in Olmoran which has been causing death.

Cases of sheep and Goat deaths have also been reported in Withare (MMF) zone due to Lung disease. Currently quarantine is in force in the following areas of Laikipia East: Gobit ward,
Tigithi ward, Ol pajeta, Dibatas. In Laikipia west, the quarantine is in Rumuruti area.

  • Cases of crop pests and diseases that have been reported are of Maize stock borer in Mwenje (MF), frost bites in Shauri (Formal employment zone) and mildew in Olmoran due to soil moisture inefficiency.

  • A kilo of meat is able to purchase 2.67 Kg of cereal compared to previous month’s 2.7 Kg of the same, hence the terms of trade are currently stable. A normal shoat of 15 Kg costing an average of Ksh. 1,834 is able to purchase 40.2 Kg of cereal compared to last month’s 40.9 Kg. Currently, the terms of trade are slightly favoring crop farmers.