Marsabit County: 2016 Short Rains Food Security Assessment Report (February 2017)



Marsabit county is classified as crisis (IPC phase 3) in the pastoral livelihood zones of North Horr,
Laisamis and Moyale. The agro pastoral livelihood zones of Moyale and Marsabit central are classified as stressed (IPC phase 2). Food consumption score for poor and border line are 34 and 51 percent respectively compared to 12.5 and 25.7 percent during the long rains 2016. Coping strategies were 29 percent in pastoral livelihood zones while it was 22 percent in agro pastoral zones. Data from the recent SMART survey (January 2017) indicate very critical nutrition situation with Global Acute Malnutrition rates of 31.5 and 24.7 percent in North Horr and Laisamis Subcounties.

There was limited food available in Marsabit County. Milk and other livestock products were not available in 90 percent of the households in all livelihood zones. This was attributed to reduced livestock productivity, migrations and livestock mortalities of about 10 to15 percent in small stocks and livestock diseases. Within agro-pastoral areas, households were neither holding food stocks nor anticipate to harvest any crops. Even though, traders within the major markets stocked food, prices for staple food commodities remained high.
Access of food at housed level has been hampered in all the livelihood zones due to declining purchasing ability. Low livestock prices and collapse of livestock markets were attributed to poor livestock body conditions and few traders in the markets. The situation was further compounded reduced household incomes and declining terms of trade.
Dietary diversity declined across all livelihoods. Over ninety percent of households in all the livelihood zones mostly consume staples, oils and occasionally proteins. Distances to water for domestic use increased significantly thereby compromising food handling at household and also hindered preparation of meals in schools.
The key drivers of food insecurity are: below normal performance of the short rains, livestock diseases and mortalities and insecurity.