Kenya

Wajir District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, December 2009

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Situation Report
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Situation overview

- Rainfall continued being received with low intensity in localised areas, especially in Wajir central, Wajir Bor, Bute and Boji areas. However, parts of Wajir West received low rainfall, especially in Basir and Arbajahan in Wajir West District, Gunana, Tarbaj and Ogoralle in Wajir East.

- The quality and quantity of pasture, browse and forage improved tremendously, especially in areas that received adequate rains such as Diif, Salamaa, Burder, Sarman, Konton, Hadado, Eldas, Buna, Bute and Gurar areas.

- Availability of water improved following the moderate rains received, with most of the pans, dams and ponds containing water while the same was not utilised exhaustively since most of streams and lagas were still holding water.

- Livestock body condition continued to improve but diseases such as PPR, CCPP, infestation of ticks and mosquitoes were reported, especially in lowlands areas of Diff, Habaswein divisions and Hadado areas.

- Pests, birds and weevils affected crops grown in Agro-pastoral areas, especially in Wajir North, parts of south like Qanjara, Diif, Tarbaj and Eldas farms.

- Livestock prices increased in all the species due to the improved body condition. Camel prices increased from Ksh8,479 the previous month to Ksh8,940, cattle from Ksh6,084 to Ksh7,489 and goats from Ksh1,441 to Ksh1,461 compared to the previous month.

- Consumption and production of milk increased slightly but a bottle of 750ml of camel milk sold at Ksh 40 to 50 for camels at Ksh80 to Ksh100 for goats and cattle at Ksh50 to Ksh60.

- Outward migration of livestock was reported, especially towards Burder in Wajir South, Hadado in Wajir west, Bute, Gurar , Sakegamatha in Wajir North and Dunto and Sarman in Wajir East, movements of livestock depicts unproportional/unequal distribution of rainfall across the district.

- The main causes of morbidity and mortality in the district remained as malaria, URTI, intestinal worms and malnutrition. Cases of malaria and diarrhea increased in the health facilities due to use of stagnant water, poor drainage system and growth of bushes resulting in breeding of mosquitoes.

- The nutrition status of children below five years (based on MUAC < 135mm measurement) improved slightly during the month, with the percentage of those rated at risk of malnutrition dropping to 27.5% compared to 29.0% the previous month. The trends improved following the availability of milk, especially in households in the pastoral areas.

- Emergency Operation Program (EMOP) was up scaled to 303,000 persons targeted out of a population of estimated 548,168.

- The area was relatively calm but there were concerns over attempted hijacking of cars and people and stock theft along the Wajir West - Moyale borders.

- Food prices were high as the district relies on food brought in from Wajir town. A kilogram of rice was sold at Ksh90, beans at Ksh80, sugar Ksh 100 and maize Ksh58. The majority of the population cannot afford these prices because their purchasing power was greatly reduced by loss of livestock.