During the month under review, the county experienced small amounts of rainfall which were poorly distributed in both time and space with moderate rains reported around the area of Nyahururu. All marginal mixed farming, mixed farming and pastoral zones have reported having 2-3 days of little rains during the reporting period. In summary, all zones received an average of two to three days of rainfall across the county.
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. The distances to water sources have also increased compared to last month. The main water sources in the zones remain shallow wells, boreholes, natural rivers, wells and springs.
Due to the poor rain condition across the county, the pasture and browse quality and quantity is diminishing fast. The current pasture and browse situation in the county is low compared to normal times at such time of the year. The current condition is expected to worsen should there be no more rains again. The animals from neighboring counties which had started trickling into the county in search of pasture are now moving towards Mount Kenya forest and the Doldol forest.
The body condition of livestock in pastoral zones is fair but deteriorating. In Central, West and East parts of the county like the agro pastoral zones the body condition of livestock was fair to good but also deteriorating and the mixed farming zones showed good body condition for livestock. Although in parts of mixed farming and marginal mixed farming zone is declining due to diminishing pastures as a result of poor rainfall. The current pasture and browse situation in the county is diminishing at fast with the current erratic rain condition experienced.
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 15% decrease in the quantity of milk produced, 12% decrease in milk consumption and an 18% decrease in milk sales. The decrease in milk production could be attributed to increased trekking distances in search of pasture, no ample surplus feeds and low quality pasture
There was no change recorded in the average M.U.A.C. (Mid Upper Arm Circumference) trend at 3.5% as at June. The highest M.U.A.C. levels in percentage were recorded in Magadi (Olmoran) at 43%, which is a point of concern.
There were no major human disease outbreaks that were recorded in the county. However, minor cases of respiratory tract infections, for children, common colds, Malaria and fever have been reported.
Unconfirmed cases of ECF and FMD were reported in the marginal mixed farming area of Segera. There are also reported cases of unidentified poultry disease in Olmoran.
Cases of crop pests and diseases that have been reported are cases of mildew in beans due to soil moisture inefficiency and lack of enough rainfall in the mixed farming zones.
A kilo of meat is able to purchase 2.7 Kg of cereal compared to previous month’s 3.12 Kg of the same, hence the terms of trade are now favoring crop farmers. A normal shoat of 15 Kg costing an average of Kshs. 1,845 is able to purchase 40.9 Kg of cereal compared to last month’s 46.9 Kg.
Cases of human wildlife conflict have been reported across the county such as the destruction of crop by zebras, eland and baboons which were reported in marginal mixed farming zones which border ranches.