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Kenya Short Rains Assessment Report: September 2015 - August 2016

Food and Nutrition Analysis and Food and Nutrition Analysis

The assessment established that the population in need of immediate food assistance for the next six months (March – August) is 0.64 million, a reduction of about 41 percent on the previous assessment in August 2015. Cumulatively, the two consecutive good seasons (2015 long and short rains) have generated substantial improvements in household food security and adequate availability of staple food commodities in the markets, the latter supported by continued cross-border in-flows.


In the pastoral livelihood zones, substantial improvements in household food security were noted following the average to above average short rains. Pasture and browse conditions remain fair to good, though seasonally deteriorating. Water is still largely available for livestock and domestic use, with return trekking distances to watering sources being within seasonal levels. There is limited outmigration of livestock to dry season grazing areas. Livestock body condition ranges from fair to good supported by favourable rangeland conditions. Livestock prices in most pastoral areas remain favourable and above their respective averages. With the exception of Isiolo, where in January 2016 goat prices were near the average, goat prices in the other pastoral markets were six to 50 percent above average, with notable variations between markets. With staple food prices stable, the livestock-to-cereal terms of trade remain favourable. With the exception of Isiolo and West Pokot, the January terms of trade were near average in some counties and 8 – 60 percent above average in most counties (Figure 1.3). However, localized parts of the pastoral areas, including the northern parts of Isiolo and Garissa, western and central Wajir, eastern Mandera, and central Turkana, received only 50-90 percent of normal rainfall during the short rains. These areas are reported to have fair to poor pasture and browse and some dried water sources. Here, livestock have fair to poor body condition, and most have migrated to other parts of their counties where rangeland resources are favourable.


The assessment of the October – December 2015 short rains was conducted from 1st to 12th February 2016 by the Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG) and its partners. The assessment covered 23 counties classified as arid and semi-arid and highly vulnerable to food insecurity. These were:

  • North and north-west: Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu, Turkana, Baringo, Laikipia and West Pokot.
  • South Rift: Kajiado and Narok.
  • North-east: Garissa, Tana River, Wajir and Mandera.
  • Coast: Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu and Taita Taveta.
  • South-east marginal agriculture counties: Kitui, Makueni, Nyeri (semi-arid areas of Kieni), Meru (Meru North), Embu (Mbeere) and Tharaka Nithi (Tharaka).

The dominant livelihoods in these areas are pastoralism, marginal agriculture, and agro-pastoralism, with pockets of irrigated agriculture.The objective of the assessment was to determine how the season had affected livelihoods and household food security, focusing on various sectors including agriculture, livestock, water, health and nutrition, education, markets and trade. The assessment made both immediate and long-term recommendations to improve the food and nutrition security of households in these areas.

Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG)

Related Resources

Kenya Long Rains Assessment: Sept. 2015 - Feb. 2016

IPC Acute Food Insecurity Situation February 2016

Food Security ClustersFEWS NETFAOThe Comité permanent Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse dans le Sahel (CILSS)CARE InternationalACF
The World Food Programme (WFP)unicefSICASave the ChildrenOxfamThe Joint research Center (JRC) of the European CommissionIGAD