Kenya awaits El Nino after dry spell

August 27, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 27 – Kenya could soon get out of the food, water and energy crises with the Meteorological department predicting adequate rainfall in the October to December short rains season.

Director of Meteorological Department Joseph Mukabana said on Wednesday that although the indications were that it would be an El Nino, it would be mild compared to that of 1997.

“If we have just three days of a storm over the river basin, then you can fill a dam because the downpour is enough,” Dr Mukabana said.

He however said the impacts could be more devastating due to the environmental degradation that has occurred over the years.

“What is our worry is that most of the water will constitute run-offs,” he said.

Dr Mukabana said there was also a likelihood of outbreak of diseases like the Rift Valley Fever in North Eastern and Coast provinces due to floods.

“The vulnerable communities are still vulnerable and we are advising that measures that have been put in place to assist them should continue,” he said.

He added that flooding and mud slides were likely to occur to prone areas of Western, Lower Tana and Central Kenya.

Aircraft flying to Western parts of the country were also advised to be ware of high turbulence over the Kericho- Nandi hills area.

Dr Mukabana said the climate outlook for the short rains season indicated that much of the country was likely to experience nearly sufficient or what is termed as near normal rainfall to excessive or above normal rain.

“The expected enhanced seasonal rains are driven by the presence of an evolving El nino in the equatorial Eastern Pacific Ocean coupled with a warming Indian ocean in areas adjacent to the East African Coastline,” he explained.

The areas likely to receive above normal rainfall, he said, were Western, Nyanza, parts of Rift Valley, North Eastern and Coast provinces.

“Much of Rift Valley, Nairobi, Eastern and Central provinces will receive near normal rainfall with a tendency to above normal rainfall,” he added.

All the areas are expected to start receiving the rainfall in October going through to December and some extending to January 2010.


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