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



1.1 County Background

Turkana County is located in the northwestern part of the country. It borders Uganda to the west, Sudan to the northwest, Ethiopia to the northeast, West Pokot to the southwest, Samburu to the southeast and Lake Turkana to the east. It is approximately 77,000 km2 in size and consists of six sub-counties namely, Turkana North, Turkana West, Turkana South, Loima, Turkana Central, and Turkana East. It lies between longitude 340 30’ and 360 40’ east and between latitudes 10 301 and 50 30’ north and has an estimated population of 855,399 as per the 2009 population census2 .The main physiological features found in the county include low lying open plains, mountain ranges and river drainage patterns.

The county has four livelihood zones; pastoral all-species, agro pastoral, formal employment and fisheries. An approximated 60 percent of the population draw their livelihood from pastoralism activities mainly keeping camel, cattle, goats and sheep. The agro pastoral accounts for 20 percent of the population and is concentrated in the riverine areas of Kerio and Turkwel, while fishing along the shores of Lake Turkana accounts for eight percent and the formal/casual waged labor/business and trade located in the major towns including Lodwar, Lokori, Kakuma and Lokichogio, account for the remaining 12 percent of the population. Figure 1 shows the population distribution by livelihood zone.

1.2 Current Factors Affecting Food Security

The immediate factor affecting food security situation in the county is erratic performance of the rains. Other factors include spread of livestock diseases and cases of insecurity and conflict over grazing reserves erratic