Tana River District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, November 2009

Situation Report
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Situation overview

- The general drought condition across all the livelihood zones was rated alert/alarm but improving.

- Erratic showers continued to be reported across the district though with less intensity compared to the month of October.

- The water condition continued to be favourable as most of the pans and catchment areas are reported to have recharged.

- The condition of natural vegetation registered a remarkable improvement with pasture, browse and large trees regeneration being noted in all livelihood zones.

- The livestock body and health conditions though recovering from the effects of the drought are still generally rated poor however, expected to continue gaining weight with the ongoing favorable weather conditions.

- No livestock disease out breaks reported however reported cases include high incidence of trypanosomiasis, pneumonia related cases and worms.

- There was a general increase in the prices of small stock, the prices of cattle and camel however recorded a slight decline. Price rise in small stock is anticipated due to the current improved body conditions and high demand especially during the Idd festival. The prices of all livestock species are however generally expected to rise with the ongoing favorable range conditions.

- The milk production and consumption indicator recorded a slight improvement as during the month both production and consumption to rose by about 3%.

- Maize crop was at different stages of development as those who planted before the onset and whose crop survived the rains have their crop almost tussling, those who planted after the onset are at weeding stage however those whose crop scotched in the floods during the rains are in the process of replanting..

- No significant change was observed in the coping strategy index at the household level as during the month, of the 450 households interviewed ; 3% were classified as "Better Off", 21% 'Middle", 58% "Poor" and 18% "Poorest" compared to 2%, 22%, 59% and 17% of last month.

- The food security situation is still generally rated poor as no significant positive impact has yet been realized in terms of crop and livestock production from the long rains.

- During the month, malaria, upper respiratory tract infections, skin diseases, diarrhoea and pneumonia remained the most common diseases reported.

- The nutrition status of children below five years (based on the MUAC<135mm measurement) declined slightly, with the percentage categorised at risk of malnutrition rising to 15.2% from 14.7% last reporting period.

- No insecurity incidences were reported. However, peace building initiatives and security surveillance continued to be carried out in the hot spot areas.