The Kenya Meteorological Department says the onset of the short rains season is expected this month.
In a statement, the weatherman says the rainfall is expected to be well distributed across most parts of the country, both in time and space.
In the advisory, the forecast indicates that there is a possibility of isolated storms occurring, which could result in flash floods, particularly in the low-lying areas of the northern regions, the Southeastern lowlands, the Coastal region, parts of the Central and South Rift Valley, as well as inadequately drained urban areas.
The statement signed by the Director of Meteorological Service Dr. David Gikungu is recommending that members of the public refrain from walking or driving through flooded areas or attempting to cross swollen rivers in order to prevent loss of life. The relevant authorities are being advised to implement measures addressing flood-related concerns, including the prepositioning of both food and non-food supplies, as well as resource mobilization. The increased rainfall is expected to have a positive impact on food availability, which, in turn, should help decrease nutrition-related diseases.
The Weatherman warns that waterborne and vector-borne diseases due to water source contamination resulting from flooding and the presence of stagnant water, which can serve as breeding grounds for disease-carrying insects like mosquitoes.
“To mitigate these risks, it is advisable for relevant authorities to strengthen disease surveillance and early detection systems,” says Dr. Gikungu.
“Additionally, they should distribute insecticide treated mosquito nets to areas with a higher risk of malaria outbreaks.” He advises.
They are calling for the provision of water treatment chemicals to communities that rely on open water sources, saying it is crucial for ensuring safe drinking water while promoting education on Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) practices.
“This can play a vital role in preventing the spread of waterborne diseases,” he says.
The enhanced rainfall driven by El Nino conditions in the Eastern Pacific Ocean coupled by Indian Ocean Dipole, according Gikungu will enhance water availability benefiting both domestic and livestock use and meet water requirements.
“The public is encouraged to adopt rainwater harvesting and storage practices.” He says.
The weatherman is warning the increased rainfall may have adverse effects, including heightened siltation and sedimentation in certain rivers and dams, as well as the potential for flooding, due to overflows, urban flooding, and flash floods.
The Kenya Meteorological Department is urging relevant authorities to prioritize dam desilting efforts and implement measures for separating storm-water and wastewater channels.
The expected increased inflow into hydropower reservoirs is expected to boost hydropower generation and contribute to groundwater recharge for geothermal power production.
“However, this heightened rainfall may also lead to disruptions in power supply, which could result in social and economic losses,” warns the Director of Meteorological Services.