Kenya

Makueni District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, November 2006

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GENERAL OVERVIEW

The district was hot and wet throughout.

Pastures have rapidly improved in the district.

Farmers are cultivating and weeding as their crops progress well.

Water scarcity have ceased following the onset of rains in the district.

Nutritional status for the under fives improved slightly throughout the district.

RURAL ECONOMY INDICATORS.

Livestock showed a decrease in prices except goats.

Milk and its products are increasing in the district.

Most food prices stagnated in the district with some decreasing like beans.

HUMAN WELFARE INDICATORS

No disease outbreaks reported in the district with an exception of cases of Nairobi fly infestation at the district headquarters (Wote division).

1. ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATORS

1.1 RAINFALL

The district remained entirely hot and wet throughout the month. An average of 305mm of rainfall was received in the district since the beginning of the month. Rainfall is well distributed district wide.

This is not a normal occurrence during this time of the year since rains are normally intermittent and poorly distributed in the month and in space.

1.2 FORAGE COVER (PASTURE & BROWSE)

Pastures have improved in the district with more than 80% vegetation cover. Available pastures are poor in quality.

This is a normal occurrence in the district and can be attributed to favourable rainfall.

1.3 ACCESS TO WATER SOURCES

Water is readily available in the district. The main water sources in the district are traditional river wells, scooped water holes in river beds, rain harvested water, water pans, boreholes, constructed shallow-wells (in localised areas), rivers and dams. These are the normal water sources during this time of the year.

Return distances from the grazing areas to water sources has rapidly dropped to less than 0.25km in the district as animals were using water from natural pools in the grazing areas.

This is likely to cause an improvement to livestock body condition.

Distances of households to water points also dropped to less than 0.25kms district-wide following the sustained rains.

Implications on food security-:

Farmers are using most of their time in their farms cultivating and this is likely to lead to higher food production if the rains continue. Livestock health is improving which is likely to lead to better prices in the next two months.

Human health is also improving due to shorter distances to water points.

2. RURAL ECONOMY INDICATORS

2.1 Livestock body conditions

Livestock exhibited signs of improvement compared to last month.

Better pastures and shorter distances to water sources have led to this.

This is a normal occurrence at this time of the year.

2.2 Livestock health

No livestock disease outbreaks reported in the district.