Kenya

Samburu District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, February 2006

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SITUATION OVERVIEW

Environmental indicators

The heavy clouds gathering and rains reported in few areas may be an indicator to early onset of the long rains.

Unless the season sets in, current drought effects may only be reversed if the rain continues.

Forage and browse conditions continue to worsen even in areas livestock moved to across the district boarders like Lomelo. Vegetation rejuvenation is expected in particular areas that received rains.

The available water sources experienced declined yields. Recharge is however expected in areas covered by rains.

Rural Economy Indicators

Body conditions across all species except camels, deteriorated further due to starvation and dehydration. Mortalities in sheep and cattle increased. Mortalities were also reported in herds that moved across the district boarders especially Mt. Kenya.

Anaplasmosis incidences increased in cattle herds in mountainous areas. Anthrax continues to affect equines in Wamba division; vaccinations are yet to bear results in containing the outbreak. High sales and low prices characterises common livestock markets.

Milk production critically diminished due to poor livestock body conditions.

Depressed livestock prices have had negative impact in pastoralist's purchasing power limiting, access to cereals.

Agro-pastoral livelihoods already have their maize stocks exhausted due to goodwill in form of gift, extended to vulnerable households.

Human Welfare Indicators

Malaria, upper respiratory tract infection, and diarrhoea remain the common human ailments experienced.

Milk consumption at household level worsens due to poor feed regime. Nutrition status of children under five years of age slightly worsens as compared to last months rates.

Sustained poor livestock body conditions have had detrimental effects to pastoralist's economy, hence food insecurity.

Livestock herds remained in Laikipia, Turkana, Baringo, and Isiolo districts. While a number of the herds that moved to Nadome are moving back into the district reason being diminished livestock feeds.

Overall Trend Assessment

As drought stress continues to bit across the district, food deficits are increasing at the household level and the intended relief food interventions are taking long. All the livelihoods in the district are becoming vulnerable to the drought effects. The coping mechanisms engaged by households have been undermined by the ongoing drought. The ongoing rains in some areas are expected to reduce the current drought stress.

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