Meru North District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, November 2009

Situation Report
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Situation overview

- Showers were reported only during the first week of the month in all parts of the district. Spatial and temporal distribution was poor throughout the month.

- Improvements in pasture and browse conditions were noted during the month except in the Agro-pastoral livelihood where insignificant amounts of rains were received. Further, pastures in this zone had been severely depleted during the prolonged dry spell.

- Distances to grazing areas declined significantly to 4.2km from 11.9 km the previous month mainly due to insecurity in the Northern Grazing Area. Livestock from Isiolo district are also still in the district.

- There was general improvement in livestock body conditions in all livelihood zones except those of cattle in the Agro-pastoral livelihood.

- Natural rivers remained the main sources of water for both livestock and households similar to the previous month. Volumes declined slightly during the last two weeks of the month

- Distances to water sources for households decreased to 3 km from 8.4 km the previous month due availability of other sources such as piped water, and roof catchments. However, water vendors still played a crucial role in the Agropastoral livelihood

- Cattle rustling and banditry were reported in the Northern Grazing Area similar to the last month mainly at Kamweline, Mea, Kachiuru, Kalimbene, lower parts of Maburwa, and Gambella.

- There is a likelihood of the spread of CBPP in the district due to interactions of livestock from Isiolo and those from the district.

- Average cattle prices increased slightly to Ksh6,000 from Ksh5,132 the previous month while those of goats increased to Ksh1,638 from Ksh1,295 the previous month. Sheep prices remained fairly the same at Ksh1,233 as the previous month

- Maize prices decreased by Ksh 2 to Ksh34.70 compared to Ksh36.70 while those of beans prices decreased to Ksh70 from Ksh80 the previous month.

- Nutrition status of the children under the age of five years remained the same as previous month at an average of 17.9 per cent being at risk of malnutrition.