NAIROBI, Kenya, October 19 – The Kenya Meteorological Department said on Monday that the El-nino rains had begun.
Assistant Director Ayub Shaka said the ongoing rains in some parts of the country are to continue until the end of the year.
“The rains which characterise the El-nino conditions have started with a bang in some areas. In places like the Coastal areas, North Eastern and some parts of Central like Meru, high amounts of rainfall have been reported,” he explained.
He told Capital News that there is need for Kenyans to exercise caution to ensure minimal damage during the torrential rainfall.
“In some parts of the country it will go on up to the early part of next year but most areas should be clearing by the fourth week of December,” he stated.
Mr Shaka further urged members of the public to avoid places known to have deep water during floods.
“The City Council has been trying to clear the drainage system which is very good. Kenyans should not try to cross deep water especially when they are driving because it is very dangerous because the car tends to loose grip with the ground so it can easily be carried away,” he said.
He also called on farmers to liaise with the Meteorological department to get advice on the kind of crops to plant during the wet season.
Kenya’s Meteorological Department had earlier said that the outlook for the October-December short rains indicated that much of the country would likely experience near-normal to above-normal rainfall.
This El Niño is currently classified as moderate or mild compared with that of 1997-1998. The distribution of the rainfall in time and space is expected to be generally good over most places.
The department said the rainfall expected over most of the country’s agricultural areas would be adequate for good crop performance.
“Farmers are therefore advised to work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and take advantage of the expected good rainfall performance to maximise on the crop yield,” Mr Shaka said.
United Nations is helping Kenya prepare to mitigate the effects of the torrential rains expected to last for three months due to El Niño weather pattern.
Previous experiences of El Niño rainfall in Kenya in 1997/8 and torrential rains in 2002/3, 2006 and 2008 resulted in disruption of livelihoods and population displacement.