Meru County: Drought Early Warning Bulletin for August 2013


Situation Overview

  • The month remained cool and dry across all livelihood zones. This is normal for this time of the year.
  • Pasture and browse quality and quantity declined considerably this month particularly in the Agro-pastoral livelihood zone.
  • Average distances to grazing areas remained high at 12 km similar to the previous month. Water scarcity and heightened insecurity in the grazing areas of the Agro-pastoral livelihood zone contributed significantly to the long distances.
  • Natural rivers were the main sources of water for both domestic use and livestock. Boreholes were significant sources for livestock in the grazing areas noting that all water pans have dried up. Average trekking distance for households was 6 km this month similar to last.
  • Cattle rustling and associated banditry in the Agro-pastoral livelihood zone was a main threat to livestock sector this month similar to last month. Mutuati, Laare, and Kangeta divisions were most affected. Pastures in these divisions remained largely inaccessible.
  • Decline of livestock body conditions was noted this month as pastures and watering points declined.
  • Average cattle prices declined marginally to Kshs 16,500 this month from Ksh 16,675 last month. Goat prices appreciated this month to Kshs 5,130 from Kshs 4,429 last month.
  • Average maize prices increased slightly to Kshs 24 this month from Kshs 23 last month. Similarly, those of beans increased to Kshs 46 this month from Kshs 41 last month.
  • Casual labor and petty trading were the major sources of income this month similar to last month. Sale of crops also offered significant incomes to households.
  • Percentage of children below the age of five years who are at risk of malnutrition increased to 17 per cent this month from 16 per cent last month.