Marsabit District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, April 2006



Environmental indicators

The long rains season fairly continued on hilly parts of Mt. Marsabit, Kulal, Hurri hills and Ndoto ranges while lowland parts had inadequate amounts. All rain gauges read below normal averages.

Pasture condition was slightly nourished with the prevailing showers, which has resulted to increasing in and out fluxes to the wet areas.

The quantity and quality of browse and large trees vegetation are fairly recharged with the prevailing rains yet pasture quantity remained inadequate in most parts of the district.

Distances for livestock to and from water sources has fairly reduced from an average of 8kms to 2kms with the prevailing rains. However, all water sources were sufficiently recharged that no water shortages reported.

Long rains season is fluctuating outside normal situation despite inadequate rains in lowland parts of the district.


Livestock body condition is fairly improving with prevailing rains. As a result, livestock mortalities have substantially reduced by 62% compared to previous month.

No major disease outbreak was reported in the district. Isolated cases of CCPP and worms among goats are reported as normal for the period.

Insignificant milk consumption was reported in all parts of the district.

Livestock prices have slightly increased as a result of improving livestock body condition.

Food prices remained high and stable compared to previous month. However, food purchases have reduced compared to previous month as a result of relief food distribution.

Cereal/ Meat ratio shows a stable trend as cereal remained high and stable and meat price ratio is fairly increasing with improving livestock body condition.

Average daily casual labor rates reduced at an average of Ksh. 36.00 compared to previous month. This indicates that pastoralist household's purchasing powers are fluctuating outside normal situation of the year.

Main sources of income remained sale of livestock with 63% seconded by casual labor with 15% and other minor income sources.


Diarrhea and vomiting cases are reported in Loiyangalani and El Molo Bay Sub locations which have resulted 6 deaths. This incident is not yet identified but it needs urgent measures to identify the killer disease. The existing food shortages in household level remained the major constraint in most parts of the district. Generally, malnutrition rates among adults haves slightly nourished with increasing food aids in the district.

The district relief food supply continued in all divisions where a beneficiary received 10kgs, 4kgs of maize, 1.8kgs of pulses, however, relief food ratio did not reach the intended 90% of the district needy population and ratio per beneficiary is yet reached. Food ratio by household varies by areas.

Generally, no Medicare relief support was reported.

Nutritional status of children slightly reduced as a result of low disease incident. At risk nutritional rates registered 29.13%, moderate 7.98%, normal 63.67%, GAM 7.20%, ARM 41.09% and severe malnutrition have 1.02%. This indicates that at risk rates decreased by 1.69%, moderate 0.42% and severe by 0.1% compared to previous month. Nutritional status of children fairly existed with minimal disease incidence in the district. The existing malnutrition is resulted by poor feeding habit resulted by severity of the existing stress condition.

Overall trend

The whole district is on alarm food requirement. Pastoralist households are experiencing food shortages in most parts of the district due to low livestock herd sizes that cannot support pastoralist household basic needs.

The materializing showers of long rains have no impacts toward food security situation as no milk availability reported in the district respectively.

Reasons for food shortages are attributed by failure of the previous rains for two consecutive years of 2004- 2005, previous raids/ displacement, increasing cereal prices, poor livestock body condition, declining livestock prices and very low livestock herd sizes.

(pdf* format - 156 KB)