Kenya

Tharaka Nithi County: Drought Early Warning Bulletin for October 2017

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Biophysical Indicators
- Onset of the short rains was on the 2nd dekad of October which was normal onset however, the rainfall amount was below the long term average for the month of October.
- The Vegetation Condition Index (VCI3M) decreased from 27.76 to 19.87 indicating a severe agricultural drought in October.
- The water recharge level was fair with most of the rivers impounding water to up to 30% of their normal level. However, silting caused poor quality of water due to contamination hence the risk of water borne disease outbreak. This calls for enhanced water treatment.

Production Indicators
- The condition of pasture and browse remained poor in October but is expected to improve due to the onset of rains.
- Livestock body condition for cattle remained poor while that for goats improved slightly due to availability of leaf droplets for goats.
- Farming activities reported in the month of October were planting and kidding for goats.

Access Indicators
- There was a drop in cattle price and an increase in goat price. Maize prices also decreased due to increased supply from outside the county.
- Milk production and consumption per household level increased from that of the previous months mainly from goats.

Utilization Indicators
- Percentage of children at risk of malnutrition decreased due to increased consumption of milk from goats.