Tharaka Nithi County: Drought Early Warning Bulletin for September 2013


Situation Overview:

  • Dry weather conditions prevailed throughout the month with no rainfall being recorded across the entire County.
  • The pasture and browse quality and quantity were poor to worse and have diminished compared to the month of August.
  • Water situation in the County declined, most earth pans, shallow wells, boreholes and dams have dried up. The main source of water for the period under review was permanent natural rivers.
  • The average distance for livestock to water points increased by 5.15% in comparison to the month of August while house hold access to water increased by 4.35% in September.
  • The body condition for livestock was poor across all livelihood zones, with a declining trend. This is attributed to poor pasture and browse quality and quantity conditions and the increase in distance to watering points.
  • The prices for cattle in the month of September recorded19.35% decrease compared to the previous month while prices for goats decreased by 11.68% in September as compared to August.
  • There was a further reduction of milk production by 14.28% at household level across livelihood zones, with average household consumption decreasing by 9.89 % during the period under review. This could be attributed to deteriorating forage quality and quantity and increased distance to grazing and water sources that severely affected livestock productivity.
  • The average price per kg of maize increased by 7.05% to Ksh.31.05 in the month of September compared to Ksh.29.43 recorded in August. The increasing prices could be attributed to declining house hold food stocks and insignificant on farm crop harvests.
  • The main source of income in September for most households ‘was casual labour (36%) and Petty trading (27%). The income from remittances increased from 7% in August to 19% in September as income from Sale of crops dropped significantly from 27% in August to 15% in September due to depleted food stocks.
  • The average daily wage rate increased to Ksh.223.22 from Ksh.219 recorded in August indicative of 2 % increase. Attributed to ongoing land preparation in anticipation for short rains.
  • The proportion of children at risk of malnutrition was 8.67% in September. This a relatively high percentage compared to 7.88% which is the norm at this time of the year
  • Measles outbreak cases reported in the month of May 2013 has not yet been controlled.
    There are new cases being reported in the health facilities across Tharakanithi County.
  • The overall Early Warning System phase for September is alert with a deteriorating trend