Marsabit, Laisamis, and Chalbi Districts: Drought Monthly Bulletin, November 2009

Situation Report
Originally published
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Situation overview

- Contrary to all predictions, rainfall performance was very poor during the month under review. Only very few areas in the vast Marsabit district recorded some rains. Higher parts of Mt Marsabit received some 5 days showers, the highest number of days of rainfall received in the region. Marsabit north (Chalbi) district, Hurri hills recorded two days showers and the rest of the areas recorded a few hours of showers.

- The quality and quantity of forage were adequately recharged only on Mt Marsabit, and parts of Laisamis division that borders Mt Marsabit and Mathew ranges. The rest of the lowlands areas reported inadequate quantities of pasture availability, thus triggering long distance livestock migration to pockets of comparatively improved pasture availability

- In Loiyangalani division even the normally wetter Mt. Kulal area, received minimal rainfall amounts hence resulting to livestock migration to Mt. Marsabit and Laisamis division. This was reminiscent of the most severe 1971 to 1973 drought.

- Water sources were adequately recharged only on parts of Mt Marsabit and in areas around Mathew ranges at Ngurunit, Namarei and Manyatta Lengima, and Loglogo location and is expected to sustain livestock and domestic use for the coming two months.

- Body conditions of all livestock species deteriorated in areas where no rainfall was received, especially in lowland areas, thus leading to increased mortality rates among shoats, cattle and donkeys' species as a result of distant livestock migration to the few wet areas within and without district boundaries. This situation was out of normal trend at this time of the year.

- Cattle prices decreased by a margin of 53.7%t compared to long term averages of the years 2000 to 2008, while goat prices reduced by 63% 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.

- EMOP relief allocation continued in all food distributing centres in six divisions targeting over 72,000 beneficiaries in the larger Marsabit district. GoK relief food was minimally with only 4-5% of the populations stating to have received the food.

- Few cases of malaria and diarrhoea were reported among children and few adults, which was within normal range at this time of the year. Cholera outbreak was reported in Illeret location of Marsabit north district resulting to at least two deaths. This disease was believed to have originated from Turkana district, and there are fears it could spread to other parts of the district.

- The nutrition status of children below five years improved during the month, with the percentage of those rated at risk of malnutrition dropping to 25.9 from 34.1 in October.

- Cases of insecurity (banditry and livestock raids), incidents of highway banditry declined after the district security committee of Laisamis district organized joint one-day meeting at Serolipi in Samburu East district and the leaders condemned the banditry.