Turkana County: 2017 Long Rains Food Security Assessment Report (July 2017)



The county is classified as ‘Crisis’ (IPC Phase 3) in the current assessment coming from ‘Stressed’ (IPC Phase 2) during the short rains assessment of February 2017. However, parts of Turkana Central are classified as “Stressed” (IPC Phase 2). The proportion of households with an adequate food consumption score (FCS) increased by 25 percent in June 2017 compared with same time 2016, implying improved food consumption at household level. The increase was attributed to the ongoing livestock slaughter off take where occasionally the households are able to include meat in their diet. However, the proportion of households with poor FCS stagnated at 26 for the last three seasons, pointing to an unresponsive household dietary diversity and food frequency. Similarly, the mean coping strategy score remained at 21 in the current season compared with previous three seasons, implying that households are engaging in consumption-related coping strategies more frequently and employing severe coping strategies more often. According to World Food Programme (WFP) June 2017 FSOM reports about 22 and 55 percent of the households in North-west Pastoral were crisis and employing emergency coping strategies. Most households reported taking one meal per day and in some cases would skip a full day without a meal. Household livestock ownership declined by 50 and 30 percent for poor and medium income households following the prolonged drought. The proportion of population employing emergency livelihood-based coping strategies to meet their food gaps increased by 34 percent compared with the previous season, indicating erosion of household assets and hence livelihoods. Consequently, the growing number of populations engaged in charcoal burning, street families, number of neglected children and IDP in the formal settlements was evidence of changing livelihoods following losses of their main livelihood-livestock. Results from the June 2017 Nutrition SMART Survey showed a deteriorating situation with Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates increasing from 23 percent last year to 31 percent, indicating extremely critical nutrition situation. Households in the agro-pastoral livelihood zone held nine percent of their normal stocks which mainly constituted left-over stocks from the short rains season-under irrigated cropping. Stocks held by millers decreased by 33 percent of LTA which was attributed to poor own-production, decreased maize imports. Livestock body condition deteriorated from fair to poor compared with last season resulting in diminished household milk production and consumption due to water scarcity, long return trekking distances to water sources, forage depletion, early livestock migration and prolonged drought. The Terms of Trade declined by 32 percent in the current season compared with previous season and were unfavourable to livestock producers. The current household water consumption per person per day remained at 10-20 litres across all the livelihood zones indicating stability in in household food utilization.
Current factors affecting food security include: late onset and low amounts of rainfall which negatively affected water and forage situation thus triggering early livestock migration hence a decline in household milk production and consumption, prolonged drought, inter-community conflicts and insecurity across international borders with South Sudan and Ethiopia.