Kenya

Samburu District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, April 2007

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Situation Overview

Stability

- The long rains season set in late, characterized by poor temporal distribution across the district, thus bearing minimal impact in reversing the already felt drought stress. Most of the livestock herds are yet to move back to their settlement to utilize wet season grazing areas.

- Forage conditions experienced marginal changes from last month due to minimal vegetation regeneration impacted by registered rains. Parts of the plateau remain inaccessible for pastures utilization due to insecurity.

- Water sources recharged and available in catchment pools and natural ponds distances are also expected to reduce. Recent rainy conditions were however counteracted by high rate of evaporation in all the available water sources within short period.

Availability

- Livestock body conditions range between good and fair across all species. Feeds situation that facilitate recovery in body conditions are yet to stabilize across the district.

- Livestock prices slightly appreciated in cattle while both sheep and goats registered marginal fluctuation as compared to last month's prices.

- Milk production remains low. Livestock herds remained in dry season grazing areas where the little available milk is only accessible to herders and not to other household members.

- Displaced households in parts of the plateau are struggling to access their fields for cultivation and planting. All livestock herds in this zone were moved out due to upsurge of attacks by cattle rustlers in this zone.

Access

- Malaria and upper respiratory tract infections were the common human ailments reported. The effects were however within manageable levels.

- Nutrition status rates of children under five years of age slightly worsen to 24.8% from last months 21.1% for At Risk category.

- Food deficits at the household level may persist beyond this season if the current trends of rains continue, coupled with escalating insecurity in food producing areas of the district. Access to local markets and sustained high cereal prices in other parts of the district also remain a concern to the local economy.

Utilization

- If the current trends continue, the rains situation remains poor and the impacts to food security may totally be undermined. Food insecurity will therefore be evident to high percentage of household in the district. Acute water shortages and other drought related effects will also be inevitable. Agro-pastoralists are currently engaged in planting their fields. Insecurity has impacted negatively on food production in grain basket part of the district. Failure in adequate food production for two consecutive seasons means total jeopardized food production process in the plateau. High percentages of household in these areas are already destitute and unable to access their basic needs. Meaning a need to revise targeting levels for humanitarian interventions in the affected areas.

- Fears of attacks remain notable in Amaiya, Suguta Marmar, Poro and Loosuk locations despite frequent community meetings in pursue of peace. Peace committees therefore need to be strengthened in order to facilitate dialogue process between the warring communities and restore trust and confidence for coexistence.