Wajir District: Drought Monthly Bulletin, October 2009


Situation overview

- The district received average amounts of rainfall, with Bute recording 15mm, Gurar 34.4mm, K/Harar 16.7mm, Wajir 151.9mm and Hadado 57mm. A few cases of flooding were reported in swampy areas and lowlands, especially around Abaqkorey, Boji, Kutulo and Ajawa. Roads were rendered impassable in Arbajahan, Mansa, Bute, Diif and Daadajibula.

- Quality and quantity of pasture continued improving as browse regenerated but this was hindered by utilisation of immature browse by livestock.

- Pans, dams and ponds impounded water with a few dams, including Dilmanyaley, Dela and Wargadud, overflowing due to excess rains and poor workmanship. The trekking distances to water sources reduced with availability in all the grazing areas.

- Livestock body condition improved, though it might take time due to poor physical strength as the result of the drought. Camels and goats were slightly better compared to cattle and sheep. Deaths as a result of the rains were reported, especially in Kutuo, Arbajahan, Kilkile and Sarif while sporadic deaths were reported all over the district.

- Livestock prices increased in the local market and are expected to rise further. Camel prices increased from Ksh7,600to 8,500, cattle from Ksh5,550 to 6,250 and goats from Ksh850 to 1200.

- The main causes of morbidity and mortality in the district remained malaria, upper respiratory tract infections, intestinal worms and malnutrition. Cases of malaria have been on the increase in health facilities as a result of stagnant water, poor drainage system and growth of bushes, resulting in breeding of mosquitoes.

- Availability of milk was still poor as livestock was at the recovery stage and production of milk low. However, the price of a 750ml bottle of milk reduced from Ksh100 the previous month to Ksh50.

- Commercial food prices have not increased in local markets despite poor roads that hindered transport and local shops have large stocks of food in anticipation of the El-nino rains.

- Cases of insecurity were reported along Wajir- Isiolo border, leading to attacks of convoys, especially in eastern part.

- The nutrition status of children below five years improved slightly during the month, with the percentage of those rated at risk of malnutrition falling to 33% from 34.6% the previous month. The improvement was attributed to the little available milk in households.

- The Emergency Operation Program (EMOP) has been upscaled with proposed ration of 75% in the district. Wajir district has an estimated 548,168 people and 303,000 are targeted under EMOP expected to continue in the next six months. However, poor roads hampered the distribution of the relief food.