CS Rebecca Miano warns of El Nino risks, urges preparedness

East African Community (EAC) Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano.[Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

The East African Community (EAC) Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano has warned that the impending El Nino rains could cause floods, landslides and disease outbreaks in some parts of the country.

In a press statement on Monday, October 2, the CS said that the current forecast shows over 90 per cent likelihood of an El Nino with above normal rainfall expected in various locations in coming days.

El Nino is a climate phenomenon that occurs few years apart and that affects the weather patterns around the world.

The CS said that the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) are more vulnerable partly due to the terrain they occupy and the impact of five consecutive failed rain seasons that lasted until March this year, by which time livestock mortality had severely weakened the livelihoods of most communities.

"Most of the ASAL counties are expected to experience floods," she said.

Miano said at least 15 counties had been identified as likely to bear the brunt of the impeding El Nino.

The counties are, Marsabit, Turkana, Baringo, Samburu, Wajir, Garissa, Tana River, Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Mandera, Narok and Isiolo.

She said Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot are also likely to experience landslides.

The CS added that the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) under her ministry has, since August 2023, conducted El Nino preparedness consultations in all of the 23 counties classified as ASALs.

Miano urged stakeholders to work together to mitigate the effects of El Nino and ensure that lives and livelihoods are protected.

She also appealed to the public to heed the advice from relevant authorities and take precautionary measures.

Miano's statement comes even as Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has warned agencies and public officers of planning to loot funds aimed at managing the effects of El Nino.

Gachagua in a previous forum stated that the government will require at least Sh10 billion to manage the possible effect of El Nino rains.

"We must also know our country is doing bad...let's be wise in our budgets, let us not exaggerate the situation," said Gachagua.