Kenya

Marsabit District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, October 2009

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Situation overview

- Rainfall was recorded during the 2nd to 3rd week of the month on all hilly parts of greater Marsabit district. These high elevated areas include Mt Marsabit in Marsabit central district, Hurri hills in Marsabit north district, Mt Kulal and Mathew ranges in Marsabit south district. The lowlands had scattered showers in a few areas. Mt Marsabit recorded a total of 205.3mm in twelve days.

- The quality and quantity of forage improved in the highland areas while the low lying areas still had poor quality and quantities.

- Water sources were fairly recharged on hilly parts of Mt Marsabit, Mt Kulal, Hurri hills and around Mathew ranges at Ngurunit, Namarei and Manyatta Lengima. Most parts of the district being lowlands, little impact is expected from the prevailing season.

- Water availability was variedly registered on highland parts (Mt Marsabit, Hurri hills, Mt Kulal and Mathew ranges) which is expected to sustain livestock and domestic use for the coming two months.

- Forage availability on mountainous areas recharged as Mt Marsabit reported fair to good quality and quantities, while Mt Kulal recorded inadequate quantities.

- Body conditions of all livestock species deteriorated further, especially in lowland areas, leading to increased mortality rates among shoats, cattle and donkeys' species.

- Cattle prices decreased by a margin of 53.73 compared to long term averages of the years 2000 to 2008, while goat prices reduced by 63 percent as a result of deteriorating body conditions and depressed sales rates at terminal markets. The situation is tending towards total market collapse for livestock sector.

- Unavailability of milk was reported in greater Marsabit district due to the failed rains and far flung livestock concentration from their homesteads. 2.24 percent average milk availability of one to half a litre per day was reported among camel herders at Marsabit in north district.

- EMOP relief allocation continued in all 97 food distributing centres in six divisions targeting 52 percent of the neediest households in greater Marsabit district as were in the previous months. The general view is that the targeting is inadequate and household hunger remains a serious challenge..

- Malaria and diarrhea cases continued to be reported among children and few adults while cholera outbreaks were reported in Moite sub-location, El Molo Bay sublocation and Loiyangalani sublocation (fisher folk community) of Loiyangalani division. Three deaths were reported in the three sublocations and cases were attended to by Medicin San Frontiers (MSF), MoH and other two community volunteers.

- Cases of insecurity including raids, tribal clashes over resources and human killings continued to be reported in some areas, including Marsabit central district and Laisamis divisions of Marsabit south district.

- The nutrition status of children below 5 years deteriorated during the month, with the percentage of those rated at risk of malnutrition rising to 34.1 from 23.1 in September. This reflects significant food shortages at household level despite the prolonged drought.