Society / Environment
Tuesday, 18 Apr 2017 08:45 EATpwanjiru@kenyafreepress.com
After months of biting drought and famine, the long rains have finally begun, and Kenyans throughout the country have expressed a sigh of relief in anticipation of sustained rains in the April-July period. There were heavy rains yesterday throughout the country, with western Kenya, Rift Valley, northeastern, and Mt Kenya region registering several hours of downpour.
The prolonged drought had seen thousands of livestock die in the arid regions and precipitated the most widespread conflict between pastoralists and farmers ever witnessed in Kenya, with over ten of the 47 counties affected. The current rains are expected to continue and, while farmers will be prime beneficiaries, with a new planting season underway, Nairobians who have endured acute water shortages have Mother Nature to thank for changing their fortunes.
With pasture for livestock expected in the arid counties such as Turkana, West Pokot, Isiolo, Samburu, Laikipia, Garissa and Tana River, among other areas, the bandit attacks that have consumed dozens of lives in the past several months and seen thousands of people displaced from their homes are expected to recede.
According to the Meteorological Department's forecast for the next seven days (18-24th April), rainfall is expected over several parts of the country during the first half of the forecast period. Towards the end of the forecast period rainfall amounts are expected to reduce.
The Lake Victoria Basin, Highlands West of the Rift Valley, Central and South Rift Valley (counties of Siaya, Kisumu, Homabay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Transnzoia, Baringo, Uasingishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Nandi, Laikipia, Nakuru, Narok, Kajiado, Kericho, Bomet, Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma and Busia) on Tuesday, morning rains and afternoon showers and thunderstorms are expected over few places.
Between Wednesday and Friday the afternoon coverage is expected to improve to several places while the morning coverage may remain the same. From Saturday to Monday, mornings are expected to be sunny while few places may experience afternoon showers and thunderstorms.
Northwestern (counties of Turkana, West Pokot and Samburu) are expected to experience morning rains over few places between Tuesday and Friday but on Thursday these rains may be over several places. Afternoon showers and thunderstorms are expected over few places between Tuesday and Friday although on Wednesday the coverage may spread to several places. From Saturday to Monday the same areas are expected to be mainly sunny.
Central Highlands including, Nairobi area (counties of Nairobi, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang'a, Kiambu, Meru, Embu, and Tharaka) on Tuesday, morning rains and afternoon showers are expected over few places. On Wednesday and Thursday the afternoon showers may spread to several places while the morning coverage may remain the same. From Friday to Monday the mornings are expected to be mainly sunny while there may be afternoon showers over few places.
Northeastern (counties of Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa and Isiolo) on Tuesday, morning rains and afternoon showers are expected over few places. On Wednesday and Thursday the coverage of both the rains and the showers may improve to several places. From Friday to Monday, morning rains and afternoon showers are expected over few places.
Southeastern (counties of Kitui, Makueni, Machakos and Taita Taveta) on Tuesday, morning rains are expected over few places while afternoon showers may occur over several places. The coverage may reduce to few places for both morning and afternoon on Wednesday. And from Thursday to Monday the same areas are expected to be mainly sunny in the morning with a possibility of afternoon showers over few places.
The Coastal Strip (counties of Mombasa, Tana River, Kilifi, Lamu and Kwale) are expected to experience morning showers over few places and sunny intervals in the afternoon on Tuesday and Wednesday. The remaining days are expected to be mainly sunny.