Turkana District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, December 2006



During the month of December '06, the district continued receiving moderately heavy and well distributed rainfall. Lodwar Meteorological station recorded an average value of 57.7mm in December '06. This is slightly above its seasonal Long Term Means (LTM). However, it is lower than what was recorded for the month of November '06 (a value of 154.1 mm). In addition, Loareng'ak; Lochwaang'ikamatak and Loreng'elup rainfall stations recorded 39.6mm; 16.1mm and 4.2mm respectively. The rest of the stations did not send their rainfall data for this month.

With the exception of the Western shores of Lake Turkana, there is remarkable improvement in forage coverage in most parts district. This is because the shrubs and trees have continued to respond very well to the heavy rains. Similarly, pasture and/or other browses have improved and will continue rejuvenating for the next two-three months if the current rains continue.

Owing to the on going showers, all water sources are fully recharged. Consequently, the distances to and from the water points have considerably reduced this month (December '06).

Livestock health status has also improved. This is attributed to the current rains; vaccination and treatment of animals by veterinary services providers; and the availability of adequate drugs in stores. It is worth noting that, the mortality rate for shoats remained constant at an average rate of 3.2%; however, for the large stock, the rate increased to 2.8% from last month's value of 2.4%. Slaughter rates in the month did not change; they remained at zero. However, livestock birth rates for the shoats increased to 12.9% (sheep 12.3%and goats 9.1%) in December compared to 7.43 % for November '06. This is due to availability of more forage, thus resulting in increased mating. However, it is the large stock that recorded a much higher rate-for instance, for cattle birth rate was 17.3%, and 12.9 % for camels.

Livestock sales plummeted to an average value of 1.1% from 1.8% for November '06. This can be attributed to the increases in livestock prices and the unwillingness by the producers to sell their animals.

Due to the on going rains, beneficiaries in Kibish, Lokangai, Natamakarwo and Namoni have missed their food in the last two cycles because these areas have been cut-off completely by impassable roads.

Milk consumption for every one rose to 24.4% from16.8% for last month (November).

The food security situation is slightly fair but the district is still at the alert stage. However, there were no good harvests received as per expectation from the last full-grown crops.

The malnutrition rates slightly decreased to 15.60% in December from 16.70% of November'06. This is a 1.10 % decrease from last month (November-06). There was a continuous improvement in the nutritional status of children between (12-59) months. This is at least 0.6% value above the WHO required 15% level. However, this still on alert stage but better than referenced (00-04) year's for the same period.

The District Nutritional status of children between (12-59) months has also changed for the better, due to increased availability of milk. Supplementary feeding provided by Merlin, World vision, Samaritan purse, Oxfam, and World Food Programme is expected to improve this situation further.

The peace between the Turkana community and the Merille of Ethiopia is still holding following the restoration of calm on the upper region of Lake Turkana (Todonyang and the adjacent Kokuro location). On the contrary, in the south/western parts of the district, peace does not exist between the Turkana and the Pokot. During the month of December '06, the Pokots raided Kainuk and parts of Lokori division.

The insecurity situation is also worsening at Kakong'u, Lorengippi, Loima, Oropoi and Kibish. The cattle rustlers from West Pokot have stolen a lot of animals from the Turkana in the last one month. For instance, on the 13th December '06, they attacked Lorengippi, and drove away 3500 camels; 1600 heads of cattle; 1800 shoats and 800 donkeys. They also killed 13 people and injured another 7. In addition, they captured one boy and carried away KPR firearms and rounds of ammunition. It is regrettable that, to this day, nothing has been recovered from the raiders.

Kalemng'orok sample area is experiencing the problem of banditry around Kaputir, Juluk and Kotaruk thus disturbing drought monitoring activities in these areas. However, there is a CBO named KARMA, which is trying to address this problem. Around Lokichoggio area, there is a committee which is handling the return of livestock recently raided by the Turkana from the Toposa .This committee is assisted by APEDI, a CBO that helps in conflict resolution and peacebuiding in the northern areas of the district.

Recommendations to District Authorities and National KFSSG by the D.S.G

Allocation of relief food to the victims of recent disasters (floods and Loteere bombing).

Air drop food to people in Kibish, Lokangai, Natamakarwo and Namoni;

Enhancing the availability of emergency response funds so as to cater for other disasters, namely: the floods and insecurity in the district.

Rehabilitation of critical water points found in key dry season grazing areas and around major towns.

Improvement of Infrastructure especially the roads so as to enhance service delivery to far and remote areas.

Provision of Human health facilities and livestock drugs to Kokuro, Oropoi, Letea, Naipa (Kotaruk) and Kang'akipur (Loperot) sample areas. This is because cases of measles, scabies and mumps were reported in these areas yet there are no medical facilities/services available there. In addition, there is need to vaccinate all the children in all kraals which had migrated to neighbouring countries.

Agricultural training facilities are required for building knowledge and skills of those who are willing and interested in doing farming through irrigation and/or rain fed techniques.

Current Interventions.

[I] Non-food Interventions

Livestock treatment and vaccination by VSF- B.

Water resources development by IRC; UNICEF; KRCS and OXFAM-GB.

UNICEF has donated emergency drugs & 40,000 ITN nets.

Promotion of health and sanitation in the district by MOH in partnership with UNICEF.

Assorted items to flood and bomb victims by Kenya Red Cross Society.

Peace building interventions by RRT and/or other CBOs with funding from ALRMP, OXFAM-GB, DAI, and VSF-B.

[ii} Food Aid

General Food Distribution.

Supplementary feeding (Nutrition).

Food for Assets.