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May 2023 Rainfall Analysis and June Forecast for Kenya’s ASAL Regions

May 2023 Rainfall Performance

Analyzing the May 2023 monthly rainfall, it becomes apparent that several arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) experienced below-average rainfall. Looking ahead, June is expected to bring generally sunny and dry conditions to most of these regions.

Rainfall Ranges in May

During May 2023, the recorded monthly rainfall fell below average, varying between 75mm to 11mm across different areas.

Rainfall in Pastoral North East and North West Counties

The June 2023 National Drought Early Warning Bulletin highlights that the Pastoral North East counties (Mandera, Wajir, Isiolo, Tana River, Garissa) and the Pastoral North West counties (Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu) received rainfall ranging from 75mm to 26mm. Notably, areas bordering Ethiopia, such as Marsabit, Wajir, and Mandera, experienced relatively substantial rainfall ranging between 101mm to above 125mm.

Rainfall in South East Marginal Agriculture and Agro Pastoral Cluster

In May, the South East Marginal Agriculture counties (Tharaka Nithi, Embu, Kajiado, Meru, Makueni, Kitui) and the Agro Pastoral cluster counties (Kajiado, Laikipia, Narok, Baringo, Nyeri, West Pokot) received limited rainfall amounts, ranging from 26mm to 50mm.

Rainfall in Coast Marginal Agriculture Counties

Coast Marginal Agriculture counties (Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu) encountered relatively low levels of rainfall during May.

June 2023 Rainfall Forecast

Forecasts indicate that the majority of the ASAL regions will experience predominantly sunny and dry conditions throughout June.

June 2023 Rainfall forecast

South East Marginal Agriculture Regions

Anticipated weather conditions for June suggest that regions like Kitui, Makueni, Embu, and Tharaka Nithi will encounter cool, cloudy weather with occasional rainfall.

Agro Pastoral Livelihood Zones

The Agro Pastoral livelihood zones, including Kajiado, Narok, Nyeri, Laikipia, and Baringo, are expected to receive below-average rainfall or generally encounter sunny and dry conditions in June.

Coast Marginal Agriculture Counties

Coast Marginal Agriculture counties, such as Taita Taveta, Kilifi, Lamu, and Kwale, are likely to experience near-average to slightly above-average rainfall during June.

Pastoral North East and North West Counties

The forecast for Pastoral North East counties (Isiolo, Mandera, Wajir, Tana River, Garissa) suggests they will face generally sunny and dry conditions. Pastoral North West counties (Turkana, Samburu, Marsabit) are expected to have below-normal rainfall or predominantly experience sunny and dry conditions.

Forage Condition

May showed significant improvement in forage condition compared to April 2023, except for parts of Kajiado, Turkana, and Taita Taveta counties. This improvement can be attributed to the favorable performance of the March-April-May (MAM) rainfall season.

Pasture and Browse Condition

75% of ASAL counties reported good pasture condition, while browse condition was good in 83% of the counties. This marks a notable improvement from the previous month of April. However, current pasture and browse conditions remain below normal compared to typical years.

Milk Production

Overall, there was an improvement in milk production trend in May compared to April in most counties. 13 counties showed improvement, with Makueni, Tana River, and Tharaka Nithi being exceptions, although they still remained within normal ranges. Low Tropical livestock unit (TLU) and delayed calving contributed to this trend as households are still in recovery mode. Garissa, Turkana, and West Pokot counties reported milk production levels above the normal range. It’s worth noting that milk production in 20 out of 23 counties is currently below the average for a normal year.

Livestock Body Condition

Cattle body condition was fair at 48% and good at 52% in the arid and semi-arid counties. Goat body condition was fair at 39% and good at 61%. Overall, the current body condition of most livestock is above normal compared to similar periods in a normal year, thanks to vegetation improvements compared to the previous month.

Livestock Diseases

ASAL counties reported suspected cases of Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP), Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Pest Petis Ruminantes (PPR), and foot and mouth diseases. These cases were reported in Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Baringo, Turkana, Kajiado, Kilifi, Meru North, Narok, and West Pokot.

Cattle Prices

In the majority of ASAL counties, cattle prices were above normal (43% of counties). A positive trend was observed in several counties, including Isiolo, Kajiado, Laikipia, Marsabit, Meru, Kilifi, Kitui, Taita Taveta, Turkana, Baringo, Mandera, Nyeri, Tana River, and Wajir.

Goat Prices

Goat prices in most ASAL counties were above the Long-Term Average (LTA) and remained stable compared to April.Analyzing Livestock and Forage Conditions in May 2023.

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