Nyeri County: Drought Early Warning Bulletin for August 2013


Situation Overview

  • The month of August was generally hot and windy. However light showers continued to be experienced which were immaterial during the first and third dekad as it had no impact on both crops and livestock production. However enhanced light rains were realized during the second dekad for between 2 to 4 days. These showers were above long term averages approximately 140 percent of normal.
  • Water availability both for domestic and livestock consumption remained good. It was established that all water sources in the region were operational. Average return distances to water sources were low compared to last month’s. Consumption was between 7.5 liters per person per day to 10 liters per person per day which was within normal range. Rivers registered adequate flows as less was drawn from rivers for irrigation purposes while water holding structures still held adequate water as light showers continued being realized thus facilitating steady recharge.
  • Although pasture condition remained fair and on a deteriorating trend, access to maize stovers, crop residues and wheat straw from crop fields boosted livestock feed access. As a result, there was a slight improvement in livesock body condition and production.
  • During the MAM (March-April-May) rainfall season, crops aborted resulting to over 90 percent crop failure. As a result, households are depending on markets as their main source of food as the little yields realized were either consumed while still on farm or depleted soon after harvest. It was noted that some farmers are holding onto a portion of their yields especially beans and potatoes to be used as seed for the forth coming cropping seasons. On the other hand, land preparation for off season crops is ongoing.
  • Milk production improved by 4 percent from July. 744.33 (750 ml bottles) were produced in the month of August up from 716.33 bottles in July. Consumption also improved by 8.2 percent from 198.00 bottles in July, to 214.33 bottles in August. A bottle of the same, retailed for 2.5 percent more from Ksh 20.02 in July to Ksh 21.55 in August.
  • Livestock sales price improved during the month of August, by 32 percent, 12 percent and 4 percent for cattle, sheep and goat respectively. Cattle sold for Ksh 33,500.00 in August up from Ksh 25,457.10 in July. Sheep sold for Ksh 4,266.70 up from Ksh 3,798.15 in July and goat sold for Ksh 4,100.00 in August up from Ksh 3,947.50 last month.
  • The region realized negligible crops harvest from the just concluded March-April-May rainy season. Realized yields, were in adequate to meet households food needs. As a result majority of the households relied on markets for food thus pushing food commodity prices upward. A kilo of maize retailing for 13.3 percent higher from Ksh 40.57 in July to Ksh 45.97 in August. A kilo of beans equally retailed for 13 percent higher from Ksh 74.80 last month to Ksh 84.50 during the month.
  • Due to high prices of basic commodities like milk and maize beyond ordinary households reach, households’ purchasing power continued being strained. This has led to a 57 percent increase in number of poorest households. As a result, more children under the age of five years continued being exposed to risk of malnutrition. During the month of August, children at risk of malnutrition increased by 56 percent from 1.2 percent in July to 1.87 percent in August.