Tharaka Nithi County: 2015 Short Rains Food Security Assessment Report (February 2016)



1.1. County Background

Tharaka Nithi County is located in Eastern Kenya and lies on latitude 000 07’ and 000 26’ South and longitudes 370 19’ and 370 46’ E. It borders Embu County to the South west, Meru County to the Northeast, Kirinyaga and Nyeri counties to the West and Kitui County to the South East. The Semi -Arid parts of the Tharaka Nithi County namely Tharaka North and Tharaka South sub-counties (Tharaka Constituency) were the areas covered during the assessment. Tharaka South and North cover an area of 1,569 square kilometers (Km2 ) with a total population of 130,098 people (KNBS 2009 census). The constituency borders Meru north to the north, Mwingi/Kyuso to the East, Meru/Imenti central to the west and Meru South and Mbeere to the south. Rainfall in Tharaka county ranges between 500mm and 1000mm.The area has three livelihood zones; Mixed farming (MF) representing 52 percent of the population, Marginal mixed farming (MMF) representing 38 percent and, Rain-fed cropping (RFC) representing 10 percent respectively as seen in figure 1. The region is traversed by several rivers, which originate from Mt. Kenya and Nyambene Hills, flowing eastwards as tributaries of Tana River. They include Mutonga, Thingithu, Kathita, Thanantu, Thangatha and Kithinu rivers. The region comprises of low, hilly, stony and sandy marginal lowlands with fair forest cover.

1.2. Current Factors Affecting Food Security

The current factors affecting food security in the sub-county include;

  • Disease outbreaks both livestock and Human

  • Poor infrastructure (Roads) and structures

  • Poor storage facilities at household leading to post harvest losses and immediate disposal for sale after harvesting

  • Resource based conflicts