Meru County (Meru North): 2016 Short Rains Food Security Assessment Report (February 2017)

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Executive Summary

The county was classified in the Stressed food insecurity level (IPC Phase w) with households having minimally adequate food consumption but unable to afford some essential non-food expenditures. Areas specifically affected are mainly in the agro-pastoral livelihood zone of Amwathi, Antubetwe, Kiongo in Igembe North; Kangeta in Igembe Central; Karama, Muthara, in Tigania East; and Ruiri rwa rera, Timau in Buuri sub- counties. Household were accessing food from existing maize stock as well as markets which were functional. Households with poor and borderline food consumption were 30.2 and 34.9 percent respectively in the agro pastoral zone while in the rain fed cropping zone about 93.3 percent of the households had acceptable score as at January 2017. At the same time coping strategies index has been increasing, a trend which is expected to continue in the next three months. Most household will continue accessing food from their diminishing stock but the situation is stable as all markets were operational.
The main driver for food insecurity was the poor performance of the Short rains season which was below normal and erratic. The rainfall onset delayed in most parts the County. The total amounts received were generally depressed. The amount received was adequate for optimal pastures and browse regeneration but were not adequate to for crop maturity. The other drivers of food insecurity though to a lesser extent were insecurity posed by cattle rustling/banditry and human wildlife conflict. In the agro-pastoral livelihood zone herders could not access pasture and browse as a result of cattle rustling and in the mixed farming zone there were incidences of crops being destroyed by elephants.