Meru County: Drought Early Warning Bulletin for October 2017

Situation Report
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Biophysical Indicators
- Rainfall onset was timely this season during the second dekad. Progression was however poor in the Agro-pastoral livelihood zone with most parts remaining dry throughout the month. Amounts received in other livelihood zones ranged from normal to slightly above normal.
- Vegetation conditions however remained poor with a vegetation condition Index of 38.84 compared to 41.42 last month.
- Pasture and browse conditions were mainly poor especially in the grazing areas of the Agro-pastoral livelihood zone.

Production Indicators
- Livestock body conditions were poor in the Agro-pastoral livelihood zone and fair to poor in the Mixed farming and the Rain-fed cropping livelihood zones.
- Resident livestock that had migrated towards the Meru National Park, Lower Imenti Forest, and lower areas of Igembe South, Tigania East and Tigania west that border Tharaka County began returning back to the normal grazing areas of the Agro-pastoral livelihood zone although insecurity in the areas slowed back-migration. Those from neighboring Isiolo and Laikipia counties have also began migrating back to their respective counties.
- Conflicts between local farmers and herders from Isiolo County continued this month with at least one human death reported in Kangeta ward.
- Crops in the fields are in good conditions except those in Akithi, Kangeta, Muthara, Karama, Ndoleli, Antuambui, and Amwathi wards that are withering. First weeding and spraying is currently ongoing in all areas.

Access Indicators
- Watering distances for households was 11 km compared to 17km last month while livestock trekked 18km compared to 32 km last month.

Utilization Indicators
- 25.6 percent of sampled children were at risk of malnutrition similar to last month.