Nyeri District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, December 2006


Situation Overview

Rainfall has progressed well in the district though there were areas which received amounts above normal. These include Kiamathaga, Kabaru and Endarasha.

Beans and potato yield might be affected in these areas due to the large amounts of rainfall.

Pasture condition is good at this time of the year and is expected to last up to the end of February.

There is an upsurge animals affected by mastitis due to hygiene during this rainy period. This is however being handled by the veterinary department.

Rivers and dams are the major water sources.

Livestock prices have increased throughout the district due to the festive season and improved body condition.

The situation in the district is currently normal and on an improving trend.

Erection of Mt. Kenya west Electric fence has commenced and this is expected to improve food security of the people in Kieni east.


People who still are in need of relief food include those who were evicted from Mt. Kenya forest, and they depend on casual labour. Others include those in the informal settlements.

However the construction of the Mt. Kenya electric fence has started and this problem is expected to reduce soon.

Previous DSG Recommendations

The DSG in the previous meeting of 7th December, called upon the government to speed up resettling of the people who were evicted from the forest reserve so that they stop relying on relief food.


1.0 Rainfall

Rainfall that was being experienced throughout the district has now receded

This so far is good progress since there were fears that the rains would affect some crops especially beans, which had already started yellowing. Some areas rainfall above normal.

These areas include the upper mountainous areas of Endarasha on the Aberdares and Kiamathaga and upper parts of kabaru om Mt. Kenya side.  

The rainfall distribution however has been good throughout the district

The inter livelihood distribution of rainfall has been even throughout the district

By the end of the month the rainfall getting to above normal. The distribution was good throughout

The inter livelihood distribution of rainfall is even.

1.2 Condition of natural vegetation and pasture

Pasture quality and quantity is still good through out the district.

The available pastures are expected to last up to February

Grazing in the forest reserve has reduced since pasture is available outside the forest areas. This improvement is uniform throughout the livelihood zones.

However some areas like Thung'ari (Kieni East) Mugunda and Gatarakwa (Kieni west) are more vulnerable and pasture dries up in these areas faster.

Farmers are being sensitized on fodder preservation through the livestock production department and Arid Lands Project

1.3 Water Sources and Availability

Water sources have improved in the district.

The major water sources are the rivers. Dams and water pans are filled up following the recent rains and are also serving as major water sources in some areas as well. These include Mwiyogo, Gakawa and Naromoru.

Rains have however reduced in the catchment areas,

Water sources have improved in the entire district. All the rivers are flowing.

There is enough water from the source though most of the water flowing in the rivers is as a result of sub-surface storm flow.

Rivers dams and pans are the major water sources.

Return distances to and from the water sources to the households has improved throughout.

The situation is normal and is expected to continue this way if the rains progress on well

1.4 Implications on Food Security

Food security has started to improve in the district.

Vegetables are now available in the farms hence supplementing the available food.

There is also availability of milk in the households hence improving the food supplements.

There are neither cereals nor legumes available in the households yet, the first harvest for legumes is expected in late December.

There are fears that the current rains may cause damage to the crops like beans and low yield in potatoes since they are almost above normal.

This is not a normal situation at this time of the year. It has been worsened by the fact that there was a crop failure in the previous rain season.

2.0 Food Availability

2.1 Livestock Production

2.1.1 Livestock Body Condition

Body condition for all livestock has improved throughout the livelihood zones.

This is attributed to the rainfall which has been received throughout the district hence improving pasture condition.

There has been a reduction in the grazing of animals in the forest reserve, with the increased pasture in the lower areas.

This improvement is uniform throughout the livelihood zones.

Grazing in the forest reserve has reduced with more pasture available in the lower areas.

This is a normal situation at this time of the year.

2.1.2 Livestock Diseases

There was no major livestock disease outbreak reported in the district. However normal cases of foot and mouth are common in areas where livestock traverse with wildlife.

There is also an upsurge of cases mastitis due to poor hygiene during this rainy season.

This is a normal situation at this time of the year.

2.2 Crop Production

2.2.1 Timeliness and condition of various crop production activities

Farmers are in their second weeding for most cereals especially maize.

Harvesting of potatoes has started in areas including Naromoru and this is especially for farmers who early planted.

Beans are flowering but some have been affected by the rains that were experienced in the area. There is yellowing and for the crops that will survive the yield is anticipated to lower.

In Kabaru and Kiamathaga potatoes have as well been affected by the increase in rainfall.

This is not a normal condition at this time of the year. However the situation is expected to be better than it was for the last three years since there hasn't been reliable rainfall during the seasons.

2.2.2 Pest and diseases

There is no major pest or diseases reported in the district.

2.2.3 Implications on food security

Food security has improved and is expected to get better as some crops including potatoes are about to be harvested.

There is also availability of green vegetables in the farms hence supplementing the meals.

This is a normal situation and is expected to improve further.