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Enhanced short rains are expected.

  • Food Security Outlook
  • Kenya
  • July - December 2012
Enhanced short rains are expected.

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  • Key Messages
  • Current Food Security Outcomes
  • Most likely food security outcomes, July through December 2012
  • Partners
    Government of Kenya
    Key Messages
    • The overall food insecure population is likely to increase from 2.2 million to at least 2.4 million people in August as the lean season intensifies. The Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG) will release the findings of the 2012 long rains assessments in September confirming the final number. Needs are expected to be high until mid- to late October during the dry period before the start of the 2012 October to December short rains, particularly in the southeastern and coastal marginal agricultural lowlands and in the southeastern pastoral areas.

    • The possibility of enhanced 2012 short rains due to the possibility of an El Niño is likely to impact positively on livelihoods in the agropastoral areas,  pastoral areas, and the marginal agricultural lowlands. In the event that the El Niño enhances the short rains, they are expected to adequately recharge surface water sources, improve pasture and browse regeneration, and result in average to above average short rains crop production in the southeastern and coastal lowlands.  

    • However, enhanced rains may result in the destruction of transport infrastructure which may hinder access to markets and delivery of humanitarian interventions, particularly in the pastoral areas between November and December. Flooding may also occur in flood-prone areas leading to displacements, loss of livelihood assets, and outbreaks of water- and vector-borne diseases. Meanwhile, the excess rain water during the harvesting season may lead to significant pre- and post-harvest maize crop losses in the key growing areas. 

    Current Food Security Outcomes

    Pastoral Areas

    The 2012 long rains were delayed by nearly a month. They were also at a depressed volume, erratic, and unevenly distributed across the northern, northeastern, and southeastern pastoral areas. The season was shortened as the rains ended two to five weeks earlier than usual in late April and early May instead of late May to early June. While rainfall amounts exceeded 120 percent of average in Turkana, Baringo, West Pokot, Laikipia, Narok, and localized areas of Mandera and Wajir, they were generally below 80 percent of average in Marsabit, Moyale, Mandera, Isiolo, Wajir, Garissa, Tana River, Kajiado, and Ijara.

    The poor long rains did not significantly renew the environmental resources in most parts of the northeastern and southeastern pastoral areas. As a result, grazing resources such as water, pasture, and browse are rapidly declining leading to an early increase in livestock trekking distances in June as opposed to August, particularly in the northeastern and southeastern pastoral areas. For example, the distances to water for livestock have increased by 10 to 30 percent in Mandera, Garissa, Wajir, Ijara, and Tana River. However, livestock trekking distances are either normal or below normal in Turkana, Moyale, Marsabit, Samburu, Baringo, West Pokot, Laikipia, and Narok Districts. The intensifying livestock concentrations in the marginal mixed farming zone in Tana River have increased tensions and raised the risk of conflicts between agropastoralists and pastoralists. Livestock migrations to dry season grazing areas are picking up within districts with the exceptions of Ijara, Isiolo, Garissa, and Tana River where some livestock have already moved, unusually early, to neighboring districts. Nevertheless, livestock body conditions are generally good except in Tana River, Ijara, and southern areas of Garissa where cattle are in fair condition. Milk production continued to increase in June due to enhanced livestock births in Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Moyale, Marsabit, Samburu, and West Pokot though quantities available to households were below normal due to below average livestock holdings.

    The June livestock prices were generally above average for all species due to improved body conditions and low market supply as pastoralists are holding onto their livestock due to the availability of grazing resources and an effort to rebuild herds. For example, goat prices are over 50 percent above the five-year average for June in all the districts monitored by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA). Above average livestock prices are counteracting above average cereal prices resulting in above normal terms of trade for pastoralists (Figure 2). For example, households are able to access 45 to 120 kilograms (kg) of maize in exchange of a goat, up from 25 to 75 kg, the five-year average for June in various monitored markets. Households’ terms of trade are above the five-year average for June by 5 to 25 percent in Turkana, Laikipia, Marsabit, Wajir, and Tana River, by 40 to 65 percent in Trans Mara, Baringo, Mandera, and Samburu, and by over 150 percent in Moyale and Garissa. However, terms of trade are 20 to 40 percent below the five-year average in Ijara, West Pokot, and Narok,  mainly due to significantly above average cereal prices.

    Additional sources of cash income for households are casual labor opportunities from ongoing cash interventions such as unconditional cash transfers and cash for assets, and livestock-related labor activities like herding which currently account for up to 50 percent of households’ cash income. Although agropastoralists planted some crops during the long rains season which started in April this year, the poor rainfall distribution and, in some ares, the lack of physical access to farmland due to civil insecurity has led to near total crop failure. While some households are currently accessing green maize, the majority of agropastoralists do not expect any substantial harvests.

    The sustained, favorable purchasing capacities since after the 2011 short rains ended in December 2011, improved access to cash and food items from ongoing interventions starting from March, and better access to milk due to increased livestock births since May are improving food consumption across the pastoral areas with the exception of the southeastern pastoral zone. The majority of households are consuming two to three meals per day with the exception of some households in the southeastern pastoral areas who are consuming only one meal per day. Dietary diversity is limited to cereals, milk, oils, and pulses. Heightened incidences of malaria, upper respiratory diseases, measles, and diarrhea are moderating the beneficial effects of improved food access leading to an increased number of malnutrition cases. For example, in June, the proportion of children under five years old ‘at risk’ of malnutrition, that is those children under five years old with Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) less than 135 millimeters (mm) increased by 15 to 30 percent in Turkana, Moyale, Samburu, Marsabit, and Garissa. However, MUAC rates were 10 to 40 percent below the five-year average for June in Ijara, Trans Mara, Tana River, Turkana, Moyale, Narok, and Garissa. In contrast, the MUAC rates were five to 30 percent above the June five-year average in Baringo, Marsabit, Samburu, and Mandera. However, the trend of the proportion of children ‘at risk’ of malnutrition has been improving since March in Baringo and Mandera, mainly due to diseases. For instance, the latest nutrition surveys show that the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates declined to 16 and 18 percent in May 2012 from 32 and 27 percent in May 2011, in Mandera West and Mandera Central, respectively.

    The majority of pastoralists are employing usual livelihood strategies or relying on external assistance to access food. Household food consumption is minimally adequate. Milk production is below average, but some milk is available. Also, the benefits from above average terms of trade are limited; households are rebuilding their livestock herds rather than selling livestock in the market to fund other expenses. As such, the majority of pastoralists are classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in June. However, a few households situated in northwestern Tana River, northeastern Turkana, northern Baringo, and northern Moyale and Mandera are classified as Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) are affected by conflicts that have restricted access to markets and disrupted typical livelihood activities. Furthermore, some affected households recently have been displaced by floods or conflicts and are unable to engage in their usual livelihood activities in both Baringo and the northeastern part of Turkana. Those agropastoralists recently returning to their homes in the northwestern part of Moyale are unable to access their farmland due to insecurity.

    Southeast and coastal marginal agricultural areas

    The performance of the March to May long rains has been very poor in the southeastern and coastal lowlands with the exception of the coastal strip. The rains were delayed by about two weeks in the southeastern lowlands and by about a month in the coastal marginal agricultural areas. They were poorly distributed temporally with multiple dry spells, and rainfall amounts were generally well below average. They were less than 20 percent of average in parts of Kitui, Taita Taveta, Kwale, Malindi, and Lamu. After starting late, the long rains ended three to four weeks earlier than usual in the southeastern marginal agricultural areas. Meanwhile, the coastal rains that are usually received in the coastal lowlands from June to August have yet to materialize which suggests that the rains have already ended for the current cropping season in the coastal lowlands.

    Even though the rains have marginally improved pasture availability in most areas, recharge of surface water sources such as pans and small dams has been well below average because the rains did not generate substantial runoff into the low altitude areas. For instance, water sources in parts of Mwingi, Tharaka, Meru North, Makueni, and Kitui were recharged less than 30 percent. Some surface water sources have already dried up, unusually as early as in June as opposed to August when many water sources are usually dry. In addition to water problems, the planting of the long rains crop was extended due to the erratic nature of the rains. The area planted to staple maize declined by about 25 percent. While the maize crop is at various stages of growth, some farmers in the high altitude areas who received relatively better rains are starting to access and consume green maize, nearly one month later than usual. In a normal year, the majority of households would be harvesting maize from mid-July to August. While the long rains account for about 30 percent of annual maize output, this year’s production is more critical as it follows a the failed 2011 short rains season which is typically harvested in February and March.

    Although the availability of casual labor opportunities is below normal due to reduced farming activities, households’ access to food has been enhanced by some availability of traditional vegetables, pulses, mature green beans that have not yet been dried, and, in some instances, green maize. The majority of households are consuming two to three meals per day with the exceptions of parts of Kwale, Taita Taveta, and Kitui where households are consuming one to two meals per day. The rising proportion of children ‘at risk’ of malnutrition is indicative of the generally poor dietary diversity since disease incidences are within the normal range. Meals mainly consist of vegetables and cereal. Many households have low food access because household stocks have already depleted. The proportion of children ‘at risk’ of malnutrition has increased and is 15 to 60 percent above the five-year average for June in Meru North, Tharaka, Kwale, Lamu, Kitui, and Mbeere. However, MUAC rates remain below the June five-year average by 30 to 55 percent in Malindi, Taita Taveta, Mwingi, and Nyeri. The majority of households in the southeastern and coastal marginal agricultural zone are classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2).  

    Most likely food security outcomes, July through December 2012

    The most likely food security outcomes for the July to December 2012 period is based on the following assumptions:

    • The October to December 2012 short rains season is likely to be average to above average due to the growing chance of a weak to mild El Niño. The enhanced rains are expected to be well distributed across both time and space.
    • Livestock prices are likely to remain above average, near current levels, throughout the scenario period in most areas except the southeastern pastoral zone. In the southeastern pastoral, livestock prices will likely decline due to poor body conditions and low demand for these livestock.
    • Maize prices are likely to remain above average, nationally, until after the conclusion of the long and short rains maize harvesting in February 2013.
    • Maize prices are unlikely to decline significantly in the pastoral areas even after start of main harvesting in October to November as enhanced rains may impede transportation from the surplus-producing areas to these distant markets.
    • National maize output is likely to be below average. The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) projection show that long rains maize yield are likely to decline by 25 percent due to the relatively poor availability of inputs during planting, maize lethal necrosis disease (MLND) outbreaks, effects of flash floods in April and May, and the possibility of heightened pre- and post-harvest losses due to the enhanced short rains.
    • Water shortages are likely to intensify from July until mid-October and thereafter ease considerably as the short rains become established.
    • Calving is likely to increase from September onwards, across the pastoral areas, nearly two months earlier than usual.
    • The ongoing military operation in Somalia may continue to impinge on the cross-border trade activities along the Kenya-Somalia border.
    • Conflicts over resources are likely to increase in many pastoral areas between July and October. The seasonal ‘rites of passage’ ceremonies may also heighten cattle rustling particularly in the northwestern pastoral areas in December. 
    • The intense campaigns leading up to the March 2013 elections may disrupt seasonal farming activities such as land preparation, and they could also disrupt the distribution of main staples from the surplus-producing to the deficit/consumption markets.
    • Near total crop failure for the long rains season is expected in the agropastoral areas within the northern, northeastern, and southeastern pastoral areas.

    Pastoral areas

    The food security situation for the majority of pastoralists is likely to seasonably decline until October which is the peak of the lean season. Households’ access to food is likely to be sustained by better than average terms of trade, ongoing interventions, and some availability of livestock products since distant livestock migrations are not expected to occur in many places until at least September. However, the food security situation is likely to considerably decline for households situated in the southeastern pastoral areas where the performance of the long rains were particularly poor. Water shortages are intensifying in the southeastern pastoral areas and livestock migrations have already occurred, nearly three months earlier than usual, for instance in the southern part of Garissa and in Tana River and in Ijara. Affected households are expected to increasingly rely on markets purchases at a time when food prices are likely to remain above average. Furthermore, insecurity emanating from the ongoing military operations in Somalia is likely to moderate cross-border food inflows of rice, sugar, wheat flour, and pasta from Somalia while keeping transport and transaction costs high. At the same time, conflict incidences along tribal/clan lines may heighten with the increased political campaign activity from December onwards.

    In the southeastern pastoral areas, livestock trekking distances are expected to continue increasing until the end of October when the short rains are expected to start. Meanwhile, livestock concentrations are likely to increase near boreholes leading to longer waiting times at water points. As a result, the operation hours for boreholes are likely to increase from September onwards, which may trigger frequent breakdowns and higher operational costs. In order to ensure continuous operation of the boreholes, households may be required to pay higher prices for water, particularly in Wajir, Garissa, Ijara, and Tana River. Due to the expected above average food prices throughout the scenario period, households are likely to reduce consumption of clean water or may end up using poor quality water in order to save cash for food purchases. Meanwhile, livestock migrations to distant locations are likely to increase through October, particularly in the southeastern pastoral areas. The risk of conflicts and contagious livestock diseases is likely to heighten due to increased livestock concentrations. Already, tensions are high in Kitui, Tana River, and Lamu where livestock from Garissa and Ijara have concentrated near agricultural and agropastoral populations. The conflicts are likely to impede access to markets and could also result in loss of livestock assets, especially during September and October when pasture, browse, and water will be less available. Access to water is expected to considerably improve from November onwards after surface water sources are replenished by the expected enhanced rains. Improved availability of grazing resources is likely to reduce tensions and conflict incidences. However, civil insecurity and cattle rustling incidences may remain seasonably high in the northwestern pastoral areas in December.

    While the majority of households in the pastoral areas are expected to engage in usual livelihood activities throughout the scenario period, some households, particularly those situated in the southeastern pastoral areas may use various coping strategies, for instance, the sale of breeding stock, from September onwards. At the same time, they may migrate with livestock to the tse tse fly-infested Boni forest which places both humans and livestock at greater risk of catching tropical diseases. In parts of Isiolo, Wajir, and Mandera, households are likely to intensify livestock migrations leading to school drop outs. A few households may resort to the slaughter of calves to save lactating cows in case distances to water significantly increase and interventions are inadequate by October.  During this time, livestock abortions may also increase.

    The majority of poor and very poor pastoralists are likely to reduce the sizes of meal portions in July and August, and may start reducing the number of meals while increasing consumption of less preferred foods such as yellow maize grain from September onwards. By mid-October, the majority of households are likely to be accessing food on credit with the promise to pay through livestock sales after the short rains end in December. However, the majority of the poor and very poor households are likely to be skipping meals for entire days. In the southeastern pastoral areas, the affected households are likely to reduce number of meals to one to two meals mainly consisting of cereals and pulses by August. After August, the poor and very poor households are likely to resort to only one meal per day mainly consisting of cereals while skipping of meals for an entire day may be common in September and October. The calving season is expected to start from September onwards, nearly two months early. However, this is likely to be at the peak of the dry season, when livestock are in a weakened state due to extended trekking distances to water sources. The livestock productivity is expected to be seasonably low at this time. Therefore, households’ milk availability is not expected to significantly improve until after the onset of the short rains in mid- to late October. Meanwhile, due to the near total failure of the long rains crop, agropastoralists in the northern, northeastern, and southeastern pastoral areas are likely to lose up to 30 percent of cash income and 40 percent of food that is usually derived from crop production.

    In the southeastern pastoral areas, the rate of child malnutrition is likely to increase, particularly in August and September both due to inadequate food intake as access to food is likely to be low and due to the possible increase in morbidity associated with the consumption of poor quality water. However, malnutrition rates are not expected to reach emergency levels across the pastoral areas due to ongoing interventions and available coping options. The nutrition status of children is expected to improve substantially from November onwards. The enhanced rains are expected to significantly recharge water sources and cause good regeneration of forage. The enhanced availability of livestock grazing resources is expected to improve livestock productivity including milk production, leading to increased milk consumption at the household level. In addition, enhanced availability of traditional vegetables that grow wild is expected to contribute to and to improve household food consumption. As such, the majority of the poor and very poor households in the northwestern, northern, and northeastern pastoral are likely to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in December. However, the majority of agropastoralists and pastoralists in the southeastern pastoral areas are likely to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through October before improving to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from November to December.

    Southeastern marginal agricultural areas and coastal lowlands

    The harvesting of the long rains crop is expected to be delayed across the southeastern and coastal marginal agricultural lowlands starting in late July to August as opposed to the normal harvesting season which is in June and July. Harvests are expected to be significantly below average in the marginal mixed farming areas, less than 30 percent of average, particularly in Taita Taveta, Kitui, Mwingi, Meru North, Tharaka, and Makueni after the crop wilted at various stages due to intense heat stress. As a result, households may not be able to stock food as usual, implying they are likely to depend on market purchases unusually longer, from July instead of the usual late August to December. Above average food prices, increased expenditures on water, and below average availability of casual labor opportunities are likely to decrease access to food from market purchases for the majority of poor and very poor households from July to September. In particular, households situated in Mwingi, Kitui, Lamu, Meru North, and Taita Taveta are likely to be the most affected. The likely increase in conflict over water resources is likely to impede market access and could result in displacements of households in Mwingi, Kitui, Lamu, and Taita Taveta between now and October due to the increasing influx of pastoralists from the northeastern pastoral areas. Food access is likely to be constrained throughout the scenario period particularly from July to October. To mitigate the reduced food access, households are likely to engage in coping strategies such as increased charcoal burning and riverbed sand harvesting, which may intensify environmental degradation thereby reducing future productive capacity. In addition, households may withdraw children from school to engage in income generating activities. However, improved national maize supply after the start of main season harvests coupled with increased casual labor opportunities may improve food access from November onwards. Farm labor opportunities are likely to increase from late September onwards due to intensifying land preparation in readiness for the short rains season. The rains will likely ease water shortages starting in October. Household income from labor and savings from reduced water-related expenditures can be used to purchase additional food.

    The rates of child malnutrition are likely to increase from August onwards. However, they are unlikely to reach emergency levels in most areas because of interventions and household coping mechanisms. Malnutrition rates are likely to decline from November to December due to the increased availability of milk and of short-cycle crops which are harvested as early as November. The majority of households in the southeastern and coastal marginal agricultural areas will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through July. However, households that have experienced more than two consecutive crop failures, primarily located in the lowland areas, will be classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from August through November due to significantly below normal food stocks, high food prices, and below normal availability of casual labor opportunities, all leading to poor food consumption. The majority of households are likely to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) when the positive effects of the above normal short rains start being felt from December onwards.

    Prospects for national crop production and cereal market functioning

    The long rains maize production accounts for about 85 percent of annual production at the national level. According to the MoA, an estimated 1.3 million hectares (ha) has been put to maize production during the 2012 long rains season. Achieved acreage is about 95 percent of the short term average (three-year average) area of 1.37 million hectares. Although planting delayed by a month due to the late onset of the rains, the crop condition is generally good in the main growing areas of the Rift Valley, Nyanza, and Western Provinces. The crop is nearing maturity in the early harvesting areas of the southern Rift Valley, Nyanza, and Western Provinces, while it has passed the knee height stage in the major growing areas in the northern Rift Valley. However, in the southeastern and coastal lowlands, the performance of the long rains maize crop is mixed, very poor in the marginal mixed farming zones and relatively better in the high altitude mixed farming zones.

    Farming households situated in the southern Rift Valley, Nyanza, and parts of Western Provinces are expected to start harvesting the long rains maize crop from August onwards. Harvesting will be delayed by a month and the new crop is expected to enter the market from mid-August onwards. In the major growing areas, harvesting is also expected to be delayed by nearly a month, starting from late October to November. The maize harvest prospects are generally good in the main growing areas where output is expected to be near normal. However, at the national level, maize output is likely to be below average, due to a combination of reduced yields because of suboptimal input use at planting, the effects of the MLND, impact of flash floods in April and May, and the estimated over 70 percent failure of the planted maize crop in the marginal mixed farming lowlands of the southeastern and coastal marginal agricultural areas.

    The increase in cross-border inflows of maize, particularly along the Kenya and Tanzania border in May when compared to the first four months of the year, have significantly increased domestic supplies and slowed the recently escalating maize prices. According to the MoA, about 137,000 metric tons (MT) of maize entered Kenya across the Tanzania and Uganda borders in May. As a result, wholesale prices of maize declined by five to 15 percent in Mombasa, Kisumu, Chwele, Meru, and Eldoret between the end of May and end of June. Wholesale maize prices have further declined by up to five percent in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, and Malindi between the end of June and mid-July 2012. Similarly, retail maize prices also either remained the same or declined across the pastoral areas and the southeastern and coastal lowlands between May and June. However, some markets were exceptions including Marsabit, Trans Mara, Narok, West Pokot, Baringo, Mwingi, Nyeri, Mbeere, Tharaka, Lamu, and Taita Taveta where prices increased by five to 25 percent between May and June due to high market demand from households. The main drivers of the maize price increases were high transport costs and high demand for maize by households. However, the maize price increases in Trans Mara were triggered by unusually high demand for maize by traders.   

    The long rains maize crop harvests are expected to reach the market in November. As a result, maize prices may start to decline in the main growing areas. However, the declining prices are unlikely to be significantly transmitted to the pastoral areas as transport costs are likely to remain above average due to impassable roads resulting from the enhanced rains. The enhanced market supply coupled with the recently reduced fuel prices following the price reduction by the Energy Regulatory Commission are likely to push maize prices down. This will be particularly true in the surplus-producing areas and in the well integrated wholesale markets that are situated in key urban centers. However, the decline in maize prices is expected to be gradual through December. Significant declines in maize prices are likely to occur from January onwards when farmers sell a significant part of their harvest in order to purchase farm inputs for the new season or to pay school fees. The prevailing high maize price being offered by the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) is another factor likely to keep prices above average in the short to medium term.

    Prospects for ongoing interventions

    According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) an estimated 53 percent of the requested funding for interventions is available. Food distributions by the World Food Programme (WFP) are continuing for the most vulnerable households in the pastoral areas and marginal agricultural lowlands. An estimated 1.3 million out of the 2.2 million vulnerable people were targeted in June through interventions aimed at asset creation, resilience building, and immediate relief. According to the KFSSG mid-season assessments, the number of the vulnerable population is likely to increase from the current 2.2 million people to 2.4 million people, at least until December. The new number of the food insecure population will be released in September after the conclusion of the multi-agency assessments. The ongoing assistance programs are likely to continue through September. Meanwhile, there may be need for the expansion of ongoing water related interventions, particularly in southeastern and coastal marginal agricultural areas and in the southeastern pastoral zone through October.  The cross sectoral non-food interventions are not as well-funded from the current appeal as are food interventions, so the rebuilding of livelihoods following 2011 and other recent droughts remains incomplete.

    Refugee populations in Dadaab and Kakuma

    According to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), about 7,100 refugees from Somalia have entered the Dadaab camps since January 2012 as of July 15th, bringing the total number of refugees in Dadaab to 471,000. During the same period, about 13,200 refugees have entered Kakuma refugee camp, mainly from Sudan and South Sudan. Though the influx into Kakuma refugee camp has declined from 1,678 in May to 925 people in June, the camp population has reached 99,000 which is just under its capacity of 100,000 people. While the delivery of humanitarian assistance to refugees is ongoing, high insecurity and the possible destruction of nearby infrastructure from flooding due to the likely enhanced rains may limit the delivery of assistance. The ongoing negotiations between UNHCR and the Government of Kenya aimed at expanding the Kakuma refugee camp may not conclude before December, implying that delivery of assistance is likely to be adversely affected if the current arrival rate is maintained and the camp becomes over overcrowded. The refugees are likely to remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through December, because they are unlikely to access all the necessary non-food assistance.

    Table 1: Less likely events over the next six months that could change the above scenarios



    Impacts on food security outcomes

    Southeastern pastoral areas

    • The 2012 short rains are poorly distributed and below normal in many areas.*
    • Livestock migrations would be extended and livestock mortality may occur.
    • Poor harvests for agropastoralists would deepen food insecurity.


    Northeastern, northern, northwestern pastoral areas

    • The 2012 short rains are poorly distributed and below normal in many areas.*
    • Widespread escalation of conflicts and insecurity.**
    • Grazing resources will decline precipitously leading to increased livestock migrations. As a result, terms of trade will decline while households will not be able to access livestock products.
    • Disruption of livelihood activities, poor access to markets, and displacements may increase vulnerability of affected households.

    Southeastern and coastal marginal agricultural areas

    • The 2012 short rains are poorly distributed and below normal in many areas.*


    • Majority of households will have experienced two successive failures of the main season further eroding their resilience.

    Main maize-growing areas

    • The lethal necrosis maize disease spreads to the North Rift valley.**
    • The short rains are enhanced and prolonged until December.*
    • National maize production would decline substantially and ensuing low domestic supply may lead to unprecedented high prices.
    •  Pre- and post-harvest losses are likely to accentuate leading to below normal maize supply.

    Pastoral, marginal agricultural, urban, and agropastoral areas

    • Electioneering triggers widespread conflict in various places.**
    • Households will not be able to effectively carry out their usual livelihood which may reduce their ability to earn income and produce food.
    • Disruption of the food distribution channels may lead to high prices in many places thereby significantly reducing access to food for many households.


    **Very unlikely

    Figures Seasonal Calendar and Critical Events Timeline

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar and Critical Events Timeline

    Source: FEWS NET Kenya

    Current estimated food security outcomes, July 2012

    Figure 2

    Current estimated food security outcomes, July 2012

    Source: FEWS NET Kenya

    Comparative terms of trade (ToT) in the pastoral areas: kilograms (kg) of maize exchanged for a goat, June 2012

    Figure 3

    Comparative terms of trade (ToT) in the pastoral areas: kilograms (kg) of maize exchanged for a goat, June 2012

    Source: National Drought Management Authority (NDMA)

    To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.

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