Results from the Long Rains Assessment in August 2012 indicate that food security situation in most parts of the arid and semi-arid areas have remained at the stressed phase while most parts of the pastoral areas that were at the crisis phase (IPC phase 3) earlier in the year have moved to the stressed phase (phase 2). The number of food insecure populations has marginally declined from 2.2 million in February 2012 to 2.1 million in August 2012, however the severity of food insecurity has eased.
Improvements in livestock productivities have been observed in the north-western pastoral and agro-pastoral areas that received normal to above normal rainfall. Households’ food consumption has remained stable due to improved milk availability, favourable terms of trade and ongoing interventions. However, depletion of grazing resources, increased trekking distances and livestock migrations are occurring in the northeast pastoral areas that received below normal rains.
In the southeast marginal agricultural zones and the coastal lowlands, crop production has been adversely affected by depressed rainfall culminating into their third failed season. Less than 50 per cent of normal harvests were achieved and households have depleted their food stocks and are currently relying on market purchases.
The situation will remain stable until the onset of the October to December short rains. Should the forecast of normal to above normal rains hold, the situation is expected to improve in most livelihoods. However, localized flooding may occur in some areas due to heavy rains consistent with the wetter than average conditions related to the El Niño event of late 2012. Food prices are expected to continue to decrease slightly as the harvest peaks in high producing areas in November.