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CONFUSION as Kenya MET directors issue conflicting update on El Nino rains

Kenya Met director David Gikungu differs from an earlier statement issued by his assistant on expected El Nino rains.

While appearing on Citizen TV on Monday, Kenya Meteorological Department Director David Gikungu differed with his assistant, David Koros, who had earlier said that the phenomenon was not El Nino but enhanced/ above average rainfall.

He insisted that the upcoming enhanced rainfall, to start in the second week of October, will be accompanied by rising temperatures and high seas making it an El Nino.

“That is something I would like to debunk from the beginning of this show. The El Nino is with us. If there is going to be a change, you will hear it from me first,” he explained.

“We have given the forecast, the El Nino is with us, and the story about there being no El Nino and rainfall just being enhanced, there is misinformation somewhere.”

He further explained that no two phenomena are identical but insisted that the effects of the upcoming El Nino will be intense.

“No two El Nino events are the same. It is okay to compare the (1998) El Nino with all the devastation that it caused but they are never the same. There has been several over the years,” he added.

“In Western Kenya where it has been raining in September, we expect that to continue until when we expect El Nino to start. The second week of October. We expect that to continue into December. There is a likelihood of getting to January with heavy rainfall. The peak of the event is November.”

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His statement comes after his assistant, David Koros in an earlier statement said Kenya will not experience El Nino as it had been projected.

Koros said the country will experience above-average rains basing his argument on projections the department released on Monday.

“It is not as such El Nino rains, those drivers are enhancing the rainfall. It is trying to improve what was there. What we are seeing is enhanced rainfall compared to what was there. It is not El Nino, it is enhanced rainfall,” he stated.

In direct response to the media coverage, the department refuted the claims in a clear statement asking Kenyans to be weary of the conditions.

“Kindly take note that the El Niño phenomenon remains in effect. As a result, it is expected that both the month of October and the entire season is likely to receive above-average rainfall, which remains linked to the ongoing El Niño event,” Kenya Met quote retweeted.

Areas expected to see increased rainfall include Highlands West of the Rift Valley, the Lake Victoria Basin, Central, and Southern Rift Valley among others.

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