Kenya

Meru North District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, October 2009

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Situation overview

- Rainfall was reported in the district during the third and fourth week of the month. Significant amounts were received in most areas except those in the eastern parts of Northern grazing Area that border Isiolo district. Spatial and temporal distribution was good.

- Slight improvement of pasture was noted during the last week as a result of the precipitation received. Pastures are yet to rejuvenate in the Northern Grazing Area as they were significantly depleted during the dry spell.

- Distances to grazing areas remained fairly the same as last month at 11.9 km compared to 11 km in August. Livestock from neighboring districts was still at Kalimbene, Mea, Maburwa, Kamweline, and Malaene areas.

- Livestock body conditions deteriorated further this month despite the slight improvement of pastures and cattle were most affected.

- Cattle rustling and banditry were reported in the Northern Grazing Area, particularly Kamweline, Mea, Kachiuru, Kalimbene, lower parts of Maburwa, and Gambella.

- Natural rivers were the main sources of water for both livestock and households. Discharge of all rivers improved significantly although quality was low due to siltation.

- Distance to water sources for households slightly increased to an average of 8.4 km this month compared to 7.4 km the previous month with longer distances reported in the Agro-pastoral livelihood. Water vendors were important sources to a significant number of households in the Agro-pastoral livelihood.

- Cattle prices increased marginally to Ksh5,132 from Ksh4,840 the previous month while those of sheep remained the same at Ksh1,076. Goat prices declined slightly to Ksh1,295 compared to Ksh1,572 the previous month.

- Maize prices increased slightly to Ksh36.70 compared to Ksh34.90 the previous month due to an increased demand for seeds and food. Beans prices increased further to Ksh80 compared to Ksh66.70 the previous month.

- The nutrition status of the children under the age of five years improved further this month, with an average of 17.8 per cent rated at risk of malnutrition compared to 18.1 per cent the previous month.