Taita Taveta County: Drought Early Warning Bulletin for July 2014
In the month under review, no rains were received in the county. However, low temperatures prevailed both in the highlands and lowlands.
Most farmers in the county are done with harvesting. Both mixed farming: irrigated cropping/ livestock and horticulture/ dairy livelihood zones experienced harvests near normal.
In the mixed farming: food crop/ livestock livelihood zone most farmers experienced good harvest of pulses, that is, cow peas, green grams, beans, pigeon peas and hyacinth beans ‘Njahi’.
In this zone maize harvest was far much below normal. Apparently, in some areas like the rain fed areas of Challa Ward and parts of Mata Sub Location there was total crop failure.
However, farmers in the rain fed lowlands of Bura, Mwakitau, Godoma, Kwa Mnegwa, Mwashoti,
Marapu and areas of Chunga Unga experiences maize harvest to near normal.
Harvests in the county have not yet made any significant impact on prices of food. However, this has improved food security at household level.
Areas under close monitoring due to food stress are Kishushe, Paranga, Mwaroko, Sangenyi,
Mlilo, Mbaramghondi, Maramunyi and Mbulia in Taita Sub County, Ndara, Miasenyi, Marungu,
Rukanga and Bungule in Voi Sub County and Mwatate, Landi, Modambogho, Mwakitau,
Mwachabo, Msorongo, Rong’e Nyika, Sechu and Mengo in Mwatate Sub County.
Others are Kimorigho, Python Hill, Mokine, Mtakuja, Salaita, Mata, Jipe, Lessesia, Mahandakini,
Uthiani, Ulawani and Kijijini in Taveta Sub County.
Most water sources that were recharged are expected to be in use for the next one month.
Cattle, goats and sheep body condition is good in all livelihood zones.
High Impact Nutritional Interventions (HINI) in the county continues to improve nutrition status of children less than five years plus pregnant and lactating women in the county.
Milk availability in all livelihood zones impact positively on food security.
Human wildlife conflict was reported in areas of Mwakitau, Mlilo, Ngambenyi, Kasigau and Bungule.
If no extra vigilance is put in place by KWS to stop massive crop destruction by elephants, then this will exacerbate the already precarious food insecurity situation in the county.
Uncontrolled livestock movement from North Eastern region into Taita Taveta County ranches continue being reported.
Income sources were remittances, sale of charcoal, casual labor, petty trading, sale of charcoal, formal employment and sale of livestock products.
Other were bodaboda taxis, casual labour at the sisal estates and irrigation schemes, fishing, small scale mining, sell of sand, bricks, charcoal, firewood, sugarcane, ballast and miraa.
Food is readily available at the market level though at very high prices hence therefore hindering access. For instance maize ranges between Kshs 40 - 50 per kg, beans Kshs 80 - 110 per kg and Cowpeas Kshs 80 - 120 per kg.