Kenya

Malindi and Magarini Districts: Drought Monthly Bulletin, November 2009

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Situation overview

- The 2009 short rains effectively began during the month under review. Above normal heavy rains were experienced in the last week of October and first week of November. 575 households were displaced by flush floods in Fundissa location of Magarini district.

- There was a significant improvement in availability of pasture and natural vegetation for livestock during the month across all livelihood zones. The average distance to the nearest grazing fields reduced by 72.6% i.e. from 12.4km in October to 3.4km in November.

- The average return distance to the nearest community water sources decreased tremendously (by 83%) from 8.3km in October to 1.4km in November. This was a direct effect of the short rains which began from the last week of October. Most surface water sources impounded significant amounts of water. Water trucking activities to institutions and households were suspended as a consequence of the heavy rains.

- Livestock herders from other districts i.e. Tana Delta and Tana River moved their animals back to their districts owing to significant improvement in pasture condition in those areas.

- There was an improvement in livestock body condition during the month under review. This was as a result of a general improvement in pasture and natural vegetation and reduced distances to grazing and water sources across all livelihood zones.

- The Veterinary Department embarked on a passive livestock disease surveillance and vaccination exercise during the month. This was mainly to forestall any possible occurrence of rift valley fever.

- The average daily milk production by sampled households across the district improved due to availability of water and pastures and decreased distances to water and pasture sources. More milk was produced in the mixed farming zone compared to the livestock farming zone.

- Crops which were planted at the onset of the short rains in October were destroyed by floods in most areas of Malindi and Magarini districts. Farmers replanted during the month.

- There was a further decline in the district monthly average cattle price from Ksh7,793 in October to Ksh7,394 in November , representing a 5.1% decrease. Goat prices on the other hand equally reduced from Ksh1012 in October to Ksh983 in November.

- There was a slight reduction in the average district maize price during the month from Ksh 37.50 per kilo in October to Ksh37 in November. This was attributed to improved household food security status in parts of the mixed farming zone i.e. coastal belt.

- There was a significant drop in the number of sampled households which traded in livestock and livestock products during the month, from 13.7% in October to 10% in November. This, coupled with low livestock prices, indicates that income from the sale of livestock and livestock products declined in November.

- The number of children who were at risk of malnutrition reduced during the month, from 16.1% in October to 12.3% in November. This scenario was attributed to an improving food security situation across all livelihood zones.