Tuesday, 8 March 2011


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 8 -The Kenya Meteorological Services has warned that the expected March-May long rains will be inadequate and famine stricken areas will continue to experience drought.

The department's director Joseph Mukabana said minimal rainfall was expected over most agricultural areas of the country and will be poorly distributed with prolonged dry spells. He said Western, Nyanza, parts of Rift Valley and Coast would receive high amounts of rainfall.

"The information given by the national weather service is scientific and not biased and therefore it should be used for planning and preparedness. To be forewarned is to be forearmed," Dr Mukabana said.

Most parts of Rift Valley like Samburu, Isiolo, West Pokot, Baringo, Laikipia and Turkana will receive below average rainfall. Northeastern region, which is currently experiencing drought, will receive highly depressed rainfall meaning below average.

"The best thing you can do is to ensure that information is used for the intended purpose. The best forecast if not applied is useless," said the Met boss.

He said that the month of March would generally be dry with depressed rainfall being recorded in most parts of the country. The negligible October to December short rains led to poor crop performance and water scarcity which has caused the current drought that has affected more than 1.8 million Kenyans according to the Kenya Red Cross Society. This figure is expected to rise to over five million by next month.

Northern Kenya Caucus has already initiated drought response program to mitigate famine and droughts in 12 ASAL regions.