Kenya

Wajir District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, November 2006

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SITUATION OVERVIEW

The District received heavy rains from the on-set of the short rains. The first rains were received from 20th of October 2006. The rains were continuous with a break of 3 - 5 days towards the end of November. The rains have picked up heavily in this first week of December.

Ewaso Ngiro river flows in the southern part of the district flooded many areas and has made Dilmanyale, Abakore, Meri, Biyamathow, Sarif, Sabule Diif and Dadajabula completely inaccessible for the last one month. Inaddition there are  large laggas e.g Laghbogol, Lagh Bor , Lagh Kotulo that flow all the way from Ethiopian highlands that that has now flooded with the on-set of this heavy rains making many centres inaccessible and flooded including Arbajahan, Basir, Buna, Hadado, Burmayo, Machesa, Kursi, Burder, Arbajahan, Burmayo, Kajaja, Riba, Haragal, Konton, Khorof hara, Basanija, Ingirir, Buna, Korondille, Ogomdi.

In other areas some water pans broke their banks and flood water is getting to the centres like Riba, Mansa etc.

In Wajir town - Guguf, Minor W/S, Medina estate area is flooded with water in residential plots.

Many shallow wells in Wajir Township have been contaminated with human waste through seepage as the result of flooding.

Flash floods have swept Household shelters like Burder, Arbajahan, Hadado, BasinBurmayo, Kajaja, Konton, Sarif, Riba, Haragal, Basanija, Ingirir, Buna, Korondille, Ogomdi.

1.3 Affected/displaced people

Over 50% of the population that was receiving relief food have not receive their food ration from October to date estimated at 195,000 persons.

1.4 Condition of access roads

The main roads from Garissa, Isiolo and Mandera have been cut-off and only small 4 wheel drive vehicles could pass.  No lorry or bus has reached Wajir town for a month and there is serious shortage of food, fuel and other commodities in all the centres including Wajir town.

Over 30 (FDP's) food distribution points have not received relief food from October to date.  The centre include Biyamathow, Sarif, Dadajibulla, diff,Salelma, Dilmanyale, Abakore, Korondille, Ingirir, Basir, Arbajahan, Hadado, Mansa, Basanija, Ogoralle, Burmayo, Lolkuta North and south, Garsegoftu, Athibohol, Ajawa, Batalu, Qudama, Danaba, Gurar, Bute, Ogomdi, Dugo, Ogorji, Lesanyu.  All these roads are not accessible and the people in these centres have serious food shortage including sugar.

Merlin that was handling nutrition could not access over 20 health facilities for the last 7 weeks.  Similarly the MOH and other departments could not reach. these centers and are likely to have shortage of medicine.

Food prices have escalated where a bag of 50kg sugar is going for Kshs. 4,500 from Kshs. 2,300.

DSG Meetings and Recommendations

The DSG met during the month and recommended the following:

Appeal for both food and non food items for most parts of the district.

Provision of helicopters to deliver food for FDP's cut off by the floods/rains

Transportation of medical drugs from KEMSA to health facilities throughout the district by air.

Emergency supply of drugs to curb water related diseases, like the outbreak of dysentery in Diff.  

1. STABILITY

1.1 Rainfall

The short rain season started in the District towards the 2nd dekad of October in Bute area and intensified in the 3rd dekad of October in almost all the parts of the District. Generally good rains were received in the District but with less intensity to areas bordering Garissa District. Roads were washed away and over 50% of food distribution points were not accessible and did not receive relief food. Many centres including Wagalla, Kajaja, Katote and Haragal experienced floods and the relief food that was delivered was washed away or soaked in water posing the risk of Aflatoxin poisoning. The rains are expected to continue until the end of December. The following is the intensity of the rain in the month of November 2006.

Habaswein - 135.6mm

Buna - 278.7mm

Bute - 432.8mm

Gurar - 602mm

Griftu - 216.oomm

Diif - 899.9mm

Khorof-Harar - 136.oomm

Hadado - 336.omm

Wajir central - 340.6mm

Source: Wajir Meteorological station.

1.2 Natural Vegetation and pasture condition

The quantity and quality of pasture and forage in all livelihood zones have improved greatly with the rains received and the forage is even expected to last in the next five months..

The average distances covered to the grazing areas is to reduce greatly but due to the establishment of the wet and dry season grazing pattern all pastoralists have to move beyond a radius of 15km from the watering points.  

1.3 Water sources and availability

Most of the pans in the District have impounded water but many broke their embankment and hence reduced holding capacity. Water availability has greatly improved district wide. Water is now available in ponds and pans and the quality not as bad as last season that had carcasses drained in to them.

All boreholes are not operational following the rains.

1.4 Emerging issues

1.4.1 Insecurity/Conflict/Human displacement

The overall security situation is calm and there were no reported cases of insecurity.

Migration

There were no major movements during the month under review save for slight relocations to areas with better pasture and water availability.

1.5 Implications on food security

The availability of water and pasture will result in marked improvements in terms of livestock body condition and milk availability though the large stocks are still dry. This will in turn result in good market prices for livestock and therefore improve pastoralists' purchasing power.

2. AVAILABILITY

2.1 Livestock production

2.1.1 Livestock body condition

Camel, cattle and small stock in all livelihood zones appear healthy and have improved in terms of body condition following the availability of forage and water during the last long rain season and is expected to improve greatly.

2.1.2 Livestock diseases

High infestation of worms was reported in all the livelihood zones. Mass treatment of livestock is on-going district wide supported by VSF and Veterinary department.

2.1.3 Milk production

Milk production has increased at a high proportion following enough availability of nutritious pasture though the last drought saw a large proportion of the milking herd perish.