Samburu District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, December 2007


Situation Overview


- The short rain season that set in early in the lowlands and the lower Parts of the plateau in late October and continued to the mid November, continued in some lowland areas particularly Wamba division in the course of the reporting month. The season's rains continue to be characterized by both poor temporal and spatial distribution and are generally light and erratic. Most parts of the plateau remained hot and dry throughout the month under review.

- The quantity and quality of natural vegetation deteriorates in the lower parts of the plateau forcing cattle to migrate upwards in search of pasture and further slightly declines in the western parts where access has been limited by ongoing insecurity. The quality and quantity of natural vegetation in the lowlands improves in the few areas that continued to receive the light erratic rains but declines in most of the other areas.

- Existing water sources in the lowlands register yield improvement particularly in natural ponds, catchments pools and seasonal streams. Water sources in the plateau continue to register yield decline due absence of rains to sustain recharge.


- Body conditions of cattle slightly decline in some lowland areas compared to last month but stable in the plateau. Shoats' body conditions are stable across the district as last month. Livestock disease outbreaks reported include: ECF, Trypanosopmiasis, and Anaplasmosis in cattle and worm infestation, CCPP, Enterotoxaemia in shoats. Livestock prices slightly improve as compared to last month.

- Milk availability improves in the plateau due to increased livestock birth rates especially in cattle. Milk availability also improves in the lowlands but continue to be mainly utilized by a few herders with cattle in the fora camps. Cattle herds in many lowland areas are still away from home.


- Malaria, diarrhea and upper respiratory tract infections continue to be the major human ailments reported across the district, but within manageable levels.

- Nutrition status rates of children less than five years of age slightly declines compared to last month's rate.

- Improved livestock prices impact positively to the pastoralists' purchasing power but it is countered by high cereal prices, hence limited access to cereals and other basic needs. Households in some Agro-pastoral areas affected by insecurity have not yet resettled to their homes due to the precarious security situation and more households remain displaced in Nyiro and Baragoi divisions.

- The unstable political situation across the country following the outcome of the just concluded general election has instigated violence within the district towns totally destabilizing the business community. The eviction of the business community is expected to aggravate the food security situation in most parts of the district.


- Insecurity destabilized most parts of the Agro-pastoral livelihood zone at the beginning of the planting season and of late Baragoi and Nyiro divisions hence continues to impact negatively on food security in the above regions. The early onset of the short rains in many parts of the lowlands reversed the drought stress though minimally.

Ongoing Interventions (Food and Non food),

- District wide livestock disease surveillance by vet. Department.

- Supplementary feeding programme at 9 health facilities in all divisions targeting approximately 1400 beneficiaries

- Continuous and enhanced combined police patrols in the western parts of the plateau.

- District wide general relief food distribution targeting 39,540 direct beneficiaries. Each beneficiary takes home 10.35kgs, 8kgs, 1.2kgs, and 0.6 liters of cereals, pulses, CSB, and oil respectively.

- Daily Maralal-Nyahururu highway patrol.

Recommendations to KFSG and DSG

- There is a need to reconsider the displaced plateau population left out of the brackets through food for assets.

- Facilitation of peace committees in conflict management initiatives to reach warring communities.

- Sustained livestock disease surveillance by vet. Department to contain any outbreaks

- ASTU police units should be settled in Baragoi and Nyiro Divisions to contain escalating tribal skirmishes and cattle rustling activities.

- Enough security forces should be deployed in major towns within the district to contain any violence outbreaks and protect private property.