Tana River County: 2017 Long Rains Food Security Assessment Report (July 2017)



Tana River County is classified under Stressed (IPC Phase 2) across all livelihood zones, with the likelihood of the pastoral livelihood zone sliding into Crisis (IPC Phase 3) by September. More than half of the County populations have food consumption gaps with the marginal mixed farming livelihood zone being the most affected. About 64 percent, 90 percent, and 75 percent of the households in pastoral, marginal mixed farming and mixed farming livelihood zones do not have acceptable food consumption scores respectively. The proportion of children with a MUAC less than 135mm is more than twice the County on upward trend and was about three times higher (27%) compared to the county long term average at 27 percent.

Rainfall performance in the county has been below average for the last three seasons, cumulatively having an adverse effect on food security situation in the County. The long rains season of 2017 was also poor, characterized by a late onset, poor temporal and spatial distribution across the county, which affected both crop and livestock production. Rain fed crop production is expected to drop by more than 65 percent, hence reducing household access to food in the farming livelihoods. The forage regeneration was poor in the pastoral livelihood as a result of the poor performance of the season, leading to massive (80%) livestock migration from pastoral zone to the mixed farming zone in Tana delta region and to the neighboring counties of kitui and kilifi counties. Livestock body condition is fair to poor for all the species, resulting in reduced milk production hence low milk consumption. Food prices are high while livestock prices have declined, resulting in poor terms of trade compared to the long term average.

Other contributing factors to food insecurity in the County include increasing long distances to water points (five to seven kilometers against a normal of less than one kilometer in Pastoral and marginal mixed farming livelihood zones), invasion of fall army worms maize crop in Tana delta sub-county and reduced river flow in River Tana which has affected irrigated agricultural activities. With reduced access to food due to consecutive poor crop production and reduced purchasing power and high foods prices, more households are likely will be facing food