Market monitoring for the Kenya Cash Consortium response to the desert locust invasion and food insecurity, October-December 2020, ASAL Counties of Kenya

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The arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) counties are currently experiencing multiple shocks to their livelihoods and food security. While people’s health is threatened by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the approaching agricultural season is endangered by a combination of the desert locust infestation, dry spells and floods which are impacting already vulnerable communities and further increasing food insecurity in the area.

The desert locust infestation has contributed to the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) projection of over 985,000 people in Phase 3 (crisis) and Phase 4 (emergency) in 23 ASAL counties of Kenya between April and July 2020 and the effect of the infestation is expected to continue being felt at community level by farmers, pastoralists and agropastoralists.

Despite the COVID-19 containment measures put in place by the Kenyan government since the first cases were reported, Kenya continued to report new infection cases. 15,084 new COVID-19 cases were reported in October 2020. The reported number of new COVID-19 cases increased to 31,005 in November 2020 but they reportedly decreased to 12,840 in December. This pandemic has potentially caused a disruption in food prices, income and livelihoods across the country.

To understand the local market systems and inform humanitarian programming in light of the desert locust invasion, dry spells, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic, IMPACT Initiatives, in coordination with the Kenya Cash Consortium (KCC) led by ACTED in partnership with Oxfam and Concern Worldwide (CWW), conducted the fifth, sixth and seventh round of the market monitoring exercise in local markets in Turkana, Mandera, Samburu, Isiolo, Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa and Tana River counties. These rounds of market monitoring were conducted in the months of October, November and December 2020 respectively. They were preceded by the fourth (R4) and the third (R3) rounds carried out in September. The second (R2) and the first (R1) rounds were conducted in August 2020.

The KCC works with local implementing partners including: The Pastrolists Girls Initiative (PGI) and Arid Lands Development Focus (ALDEF) in Garissa and Tana River respectively, The Pastoralists Community Initiative and Development Assistance (PACIDA) and Sustainable Approaches for Community Empowerment (SAPCONE) in Marsabit and Turkana respectively on behalf of CWW, Merti Intergrated Development Programme (MIDP) and Wajir South Development Association (WASDA) in Isiolo and Wajir respectively on behalf of Oxfam and Rural Agency for Community Development and Assistance (RACIDA) in Mandera on behalf of ACTED. In Samburu, ACTED is implementing the activities directly.

This factsheet presents an overview of the median prices and the change in median prices of food and non-food items (NFIs), demand and supply challenges, and other market challenges experienced by local community members and vendors in the assessed ASAL counties in light of these multiple shocks. The findings are indicative of the assessed locations and the timeframe in which the data was collected.