Taita Taveta County: 2017 Long Rains Food Security Assessment Report (July 2017)


Executive Summary

Taita Taveta County is classified in the Stressed (Phase 2) phase of the Integrated Food Security Phase (IPC), which imply that even with any humanitarian assistance, household groups have minimally adequate food consumption but are unable to afford some essential non-food necessities without engaging in irreversible coping strategies. The main drivers to the current food insecurity situation is attributed to the late onset and early cessation of the Long rains that ended a month earlier in most areas coupled by total crop failure during the previous season.
Food prices are high with a kilogram of maize was trading at Ksh 60 – 70.

An average goat in June was selling at Ksh 3,850, which was approximately 17 percent above the five-year average of Ksh 3,280. Due to the previous drought, most households in the Food crop/food crop zone lost their livestock and as a result, their income level has deteriorated. Milk production has also reduced. Pasture and browse condition was good in the mixed farming (irrigation/livestock) and horticulture /dairy zones. However, in the mixed farming (crop/livestock) zone, pasture range from fair to poor. As a result, body condition for cattle is poor in the mixed farming (crop/livestock) zone.

The average return trekking distances from grazing area to watering points in the food crops/livestock and irrigation/ livestock livelihood zones have increased to 5 - 8 km compared with the normal 3 - 4 km. In the horticulture and dairy livelihood zone, trekking distances have remained at the normal 0.5-1 km. Though the County is not experiencing major migration, a few cases were reported in Taveta sub-county with livestock migrating from Rombo in Kajiado to Taveta, and from Taveta to Tanzania in search of pasture and browse.

The proportion of children at risk of malnutrition in the month of June was 4.6 percent compared to the Long term average of 3.6 percent. Serious cases of malnourishment for children <5 years were observed in Marungu Ward. High cases of malnutrition can be attributed to poor feeding habits due to poor harvests being experienced in the rain fed lowlands and prolonged drought which also changed the feeding patterns in the community mostly in Voi and Mwatate subcounties.
While there was a general decline in malaria diseases, diarhoea cases increased. There were no market disruptions. However, due to conflicts areas such as Njoro Masaini and Mgeno neighbouring the park are experiencing conflicts between rangers and herders. The food security situation in the Food crop/food crop zone is expected to deteriorate further in most parts of the County.