The Kenya Meteorological Department has predicted that the country will receive below-average rainfall in the upcoming long rain season.
In Kenya, the long rains season is between March and May.
The weatherman made the revelation in a report on the climate outlook for this year’s “long rains” season and a review of last year’s “short rains” season. The report is dated March 1, 2023.
According to the Director, Dr. David Gikungu, below-average rainfall is expected in some parts of the country and near-average in others.
“Below-average rainfall is expected over the Lake Victoria Basin, Highlands West of the Rift Valley, Central Rift Valley, Highlands East of the Rift Valley (including Nairobi County), Coastal region, most of Northeastern and Southeastern Lowlands, and Western parts of Narok,” the report reads in part.
“Near-average rainfall is expected over parts of Northwestern (Central and eastern Turkana), parts of South Rift Valley (Eastern Narok), parts of Southeastern lowlands (Kajiado), and the Western parts of Marsabit,”
The report has also highlighted that last year’s short rain season recorded low rainfall as well. Short rains were in the period between October 1 and December 31, 2022.
“Depressed rainfall was received over the North-western, Coast, most stations over the Southeastern lowlands, and Northeastern, several stations over the Highlands East of the Rift Valley including Nairobi County and a few stations over the Highlands West of the Rift Valley and Central Rift Valley,”
According to Dr Gikungu’s report, only about ten stations got near-average rainfall. They are Kakamega, Kericho, Garissa, Kisii, Narok, Moi Air-base, Thika, Makindu, Nyahururu, Embu, Kisumu, and Kitale.
“All the other stations recorded less than 75% of their OND Long Term Means (LTMs) with Lodwar recording the lowest percentage at 15.2 per cent,”
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“The rainfall distribution both in time and space was poor throughout the country, especially in the months of October and December,”
Days ago, farmers who spoke to ntv had expressed their fears over unpredictable rains which they argued might affect their yields.
“We have already prepared the land because we know the rains normally come in March. We are now worried because from the look of things the rains might not come,” a farmer said.
If the country gets a failed rainy season this year, this will be the sixth year the country has had failed rainy seasons, a factor that will affect their yields as well as food prices.