The Kenya Meteorological Department is cautioning Kenyans to brace themselves for possible floods with most regions expected to receive above average rainfall over the October to December short rains season.
Among the regions that could be affected by the forecast, floods include counties in Nyanza, western Kenya, Nairobi, central Kenya, eastern region and the north rift.
The Acting Director of Meteorological Services Stella Aura, said forecasts for the October-November-December (OND) 2018 “Short Rains” reveal enhanced rains in most parts of the country.
Speaking to the press on Tuesday, Aura said, “Following the forecasted enhance rainfall over most parts of the country, various sectors are expected to experience both positive and negative impacts. Contingency measures should, therefore, be put in place to avoid some of the probable negative impacts and at the same time take full advantage of the positive ones,”.
The director explained that the outlook season indicates that much of the country is likely to experience above average rainfall.
The distribution of the rainfall in time and space is expected to be good over most places especially during the peak month of November.
“The enhanced and well-distributed rainfall that is expected over most agricultural areas of the country will be favorable for agricultural activities. Farmers are, therefore, advised to take advantage of the good rains to maximize on crop production,” advised Aura.
She added that foliage and pasture conditions in the pastoral areas of Northeastern, Northwestern and Southeastern Kenya are expected to improve significantly as a result of the expected good rainfall performance during the season.
Aura pointed out areas where the disaster management sector needs to pay focus on like in western Kenya where above-average rainfall is expected, lightning strikes are highly probable especially in Counties like Kisii, Kisumu, Kakamega, and Bungoma.
“Cases of flooding in prone areas such as Budalang’i and Kano plains as well as landslides and mudslides in susceptible areas of Western, Central and RiftValley are also likely to occur,” said Aura.
“The National Disaster Operations Centre is, therefore, advised to be on standby in order to ensure mitigation of any negative impacts that may arise,” she said.
She said that the forecasted enhanced rainfall is expected to increase water resources in the catchment areas to the benefit of urban centers such as Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa, Garissa, Eldoret among others.
“People are also encouraged to harvest as much water as possible for future use. Urban centers are also encouraged to urgently construct storm drainage systems and open up clogged drainages to avoid piling of floodwaters in cities and towns from surface runoff triggered by heavy rainfall storms,” the director advised.
She added that in the health Sector, various parts of the country are likely to experience an outbreak of diseases that are associated with excessive water such as malaria.
“The Ministry of Health should, therefore, be on the lookout for such cases. Hospitals should be equipped with necessary drugs to be able to deal with such situations as they arise,” said Aura.
She highlighted that the transport sector is also likely to be affected by flashfloods likely to occur over several parts of the country especially during the peak month of November causing muddy and slippery conditions and thus advised motorists to drive carefully.
In the Energy Sector, Aura said that all the major River catchment areas for the country’s hydroelectric power generating dams are expected to receive above-average rainfall. This means that surface water run-offs are also likely to register above average inflows into Rivers such as Sondu Miriu, Tana and Athi.
This is expected to increase the water levels in dams, and improve the capacity for hydroelectric power generation.