Malindi Districts: Drought Monthly Bulletin, October 2009


Situation overview

- The month under review usually marks the beginning of the short rains season in the district. However, the district experienced warm conditions almost throughout the month of October except for the last week of the month when the district received heavy rains. The amount of rainfall recorded between 13th September and 13th October 2009 reduced by 10.8%, from 16.7mm in September 2009 to 14.9mm in October 2009, with a temporal distribution of 2 days.

- There was a slight improvement in availability of pasture and natural vegetation for livestock during the month, particularly in the mixed farming zone. The average distance to the nearest grazing fields reduced by 4.6% i.e. from 13km in September 2009 to 12.4km in October 2009.

- River Sabaki, boreholes and one community earth dam were recorded as the main sources of water in the last four weeks. Other surface water sources dried up during the month, particularly in the livestock farming zone as a result of the dry spell which also caused a dwindle in amount of water in boreholes.

- The average distance to the nearest water source increased from 6.9 km in September 2009 to 8.3km during the month under review. Lack of water and increased distances to water sources led to massive water trucking to areas in the livestock and mixed farming zones. Most of the water was trucked to institutions i.e. schools and healthy centres and in some instances to communities

- Livestock body condition was poor in the livestock farming zonei.e. Chakama location. However, the general body condition of all livestock types was fair in many areas of the mixed farming zone as animals were able to access pasture and water.

- The quarantine imposed on movement of animals in some parts of the district in July 2009 following reports of a foot and mouth disease outbreak was lifted during the month. Livestock farmers can now transport their animals outside the district.

- Households continued preparing their farms in the last four weeks in readiness for the short rains planting. Planting was expected to begin in the last two weeks of the month, but was interrupted by flash floods.

- There was a decline in the district monthly average cattle price from Ksh11,006 in September to Ksh7,793 representing a 29.2% decrease. Prices were higher in the livestock farming zone compared to the mixed farming zone i.e. Ksh10,585 and Ksh5,000 respectively. This was attributed to a high supply of animals offered for sale by households particularly in the livestock farming zone. Goat prices depreciated marginally from Ksh 1072 in September 2009 to Ksh1012 in October 2009, thereby representing 5.6% decrease owing to the same reason mentioned above.

- The average district maize price increased during the month from Ksh20 in September 2009 to Ksh37.50 during the month under review owing to inadequate stocks from won production and lack of supplies in local markets.

- Casual labour was the major source of income for many households across all livelihood zones, followed by sale of charcoal and formal employment. Casual labour activities, however, dropped during the month owing to low processing activities in salt firms as the rain season began.

- There has been a steady increase in the number of children who are at risk of malnutrition in the district since August 2009. The number of children who were at risk of malnutrition increased during the month, from 14.4% in September 2009 to 16.1% in October 2009.

- Flagged areas include Chakama location (livestock farming zone) and Adu, Bungale, and Langobaya locations (mixed farming zone).