Laikipia County: Drought Early Warning Bulletin for March 2015

Situation Report
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Drought Situation & EW Phase Classification

In March, three biophysical indicators were outside the expected seasonal ranges –the SPI, the VCI and the state of water sources. The Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) at 15.24 is way below the normal range, indicating the poor state of pasture and browse condition. In MF zones, the pasture and browse condition is fair to poor but in MMF and Pastoral zones the same is poor and deteriorating due to the prevailing dry spell and overgrazing as a result of influx of livestock from neighbouring Baringo and Samburu Counties. The current SPI is below the normal range and there was no rainfall during the month under review. The state of water sources is below normal, but the situation is expected to improve due to the expected March-May rains.

Four production indicators are outside the normal range for the period. Livestock migration patterns are not normal. Milk production per household is below the normal range and livestock deaths due to drought and diseases were reported. The body condition of animals are currently outside the normal ranges for the period.

As for access, milk consumption is below the normal range. The terms of trade (ToT) are within the normal range, but are slightly shifting in favour of cereal sellers. Since three physical indicators, four production indicators and one access indicator are outside the normal range, the EW phase is on Late Alarm across the whole County. This, coupled with other factors such as insecurity due to livestock immigration into the county.

The drought risk is high due to the prevailing dry spells, low crop yields and immigration of livestock. In view of the current situation, it is important to continue drought response activities across the entire County.