Drought likely to continue throughout November: Weatherman
NAIROBI—The current drought ravaging the Northern, Eastern and sections of Central part of the country is expected to intensify during the month of November.
The Kenya Meteorological Services says the phenomenon will persist due to depressed rainfall that will be experienced over the period.
The agency’s Director Dr. David Gikungu in a statement is warning that the below average rainfall may lead to an increase in the ongoing resource-based conflicts among the farming and pastoral communities.
While urging the local leadership to intervene before the situation gets out of hand, Dr. Gikungu cited resource-based conflicts that were witnessed along the Kitui Tana-River and Meru-Isiolo borders where a man and a woman were killed by camel herders who had invaded farms in search of pasture and their livestock.
“Community leaders and local authorities are urged to put in place conflict resolution mechanisms and continue promoting peace and resource sharing among their communities,” he implores.
The agency notes that while the depressed rainfall is not expected to cause any significant impacts on transport and public safety across the country, isolated cases of flooding may lead to slippery roads in some parts of the country thus increasing the risk of accidents. Motorists are urged to be vigilant since stormy weather patterns may reduce their visibility.
The drought will worsen because the rains will be depressed and end early next month in Mandera, Garissa, Marsabit, Wajir, Isiolo, Turkana and Samburu.
About four million Kenyans, mostly from the arid north, have been painfully lining up for food aid in the past two months.
“The northeastern and northwestern regions are likely to remain generally dry throughout the forecast period but may experience occasional rainfall especially in November and early December,” Dr Gikungu said.
“The expected rainfall is therefore not likely to be adequate for recovery from the current poor nutrition and food security situation,” Gikungu said.
The below average rains are a result of La Nina – the opposite of El Nino – which brings dry weather to Kenya
The weatherman also says water is likely to remains scarce in the ASAL regions of the northern and eastern parts of the country.
“To ensure that the water needs of the areas are met, it is crucial to continue monitoring and managing water resources. Residents are also advised to harvest rainwater to supplement their needs,” he adds.
According to the Kenya Meteorological Services, the whole country is likely to experience below average rainfall in the next three months.
The Highlands West of the Rift Valley, the Lake Victoria Basin, Central and South Rift Valley will receive occasional rainfall during the three month period.
Also expected to receive occasional rainfall in November and December are the Highlands East of the Rift Valley and the Southeastern Lowlands that will remain generally dry in January.