Kenya

Samburu County: Drought Early Warning Bulletin for August 2014

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Situation Overview

  • The County remained dry and hot in the first and second dekad of the month. However heavy, erratic continental rains started in the plateau in last dekad of the month. The Pastoral LZ also received light showers towards the end of the last dekad of the reporting month. Generally the county recorded an average of 36.16 mm of rainfall.

  • The quantity and quality of pasture and browse was fair in Agro pastoral LZ as a result of the continental rains which slightly resuscitated the vegetation cover. However the quantity and quality of pasture was poor in Pastoral LZ.

  • The main sources of water for households were traditional river wells, natural rivers, pans/dams, shallow wells and boreholes. Distances to water points for both households and livestock significantly increased compared to July.

  • Livestock body condition generally ranged from fair to poor as a result of diminishing pasture and browse and long trekking distances to water points and grazing fields.

  • Major diseases reported were FMD for cattle and CCPP, PPR for goats.

  • The prices fetched by cattle, sheep and goats improved slightly compared to the previous month due to low supply in the market as pastoralists refused to sell their livestock citing low prices brought about by poor body condition.

  • Milk was unavailable in most households since most of the livestock had migrated and the lactating animals left behind were producing very little or had stopped completely.

  • Major human ailments reported were Malaria, Upper Respiratory Tract Infections and Diarrhoea.

  • Prices of food commodities remained high but stable. Also, low prices fetched by cattle and shoats negatively impacted on pastoralists’ purchasing power and consequently their access to food.

  • Skirmishes between Samburu and Borana communities over grazing resources was reported in Kom. However the rest of the County remained generally calm with no cases of insecurity reported though tensions remain high with warring communities forced to share the limited resources side by side.

  • Nutritional status of children below five years of age improved compared to the previous month with the percentage of those considered at risk of malnutrition decreasing to 15.15 from 20 in July. Kawop, Sereolipi, South Horr and Tuum were among the worst affected sentinel sites.

  • In conclusion, the biggest challenge facing the county is hunger and a solution is needed urgently to cushion the community from the pangs of hunger.