Motorcycle operators have been identified as the leading air polluters in the country leading to an environmental crisis including the unpopular ‘black rains’.
According to the Kenya Meteorological Society (KMS), the exhaust emissions coupled with human activities had seen temperatures in the country rise by one degree centigrade in the last 40 years.
This emerged at the 14th KMS International Conference on Meteorological Research, Applications and Services held at Lake Naivasha Resort.
The Society chairman Dr Richard Mwita noted that the rise in temperatures had affected weather patterns leading to a rise in cases of flooding and drought.
Addressing the press on the sidelines of the conference on Wednesday, Mwita said that climate change was real with human activity and a rising population playing a part in the changes.
“We have seen an increase in the number of persons, industries, vehicles and already motorcycles have been identified as the largest air polluters in the country,” he said.
Mwita noted that a rise in temperatures and air pollution affected the natural weather cycles leading to environmental disasters and ‘black-rains’ as reported in parts of the country.
On the rising water levels in various lakes, Mwita noted that their studies indicated that heavy rains and sedimentation had played a part in the current phenomena.
“Though studies on this new phenomenon are going on, initial studies indicate that increased rains and the high amount of sediments have contributed to rise in water levels,” he said.
On his part, Mark Majodina from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) noted that increasing disasters in the continent were related to weather.
He said that since 2014, the world had lost over USD 400B to damages caused by weather with Africa being the hardest hit.
“Africa is highly vulnerable to weather related calamities which have been further worsened by high poverty levels,” he said.
Majodina revisited the locust invasion in East Africa adding that their location was based on weather patterns with affected communities currently facing food insecurity.
The Deputy Director of Climate change in the Ministry of Environment Augustine Keduyo identified farmers and pastoralists as the hardest hit by climate change.
He said that the department was working with other stakeholders to disseminate climate change and weather forecast reports to the farmers and pastoralists in time.
“This information will come in handy for the farmers and pastoralists and we are also working on early warning systems so that they can put in place mitigation measures,” he said.