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‘Not El-Nino’ MET department issues update on expected rains

MET department now says Kenya to expect ‘above average rains’ and not El-Nino as earlier predicted.

In the upcoming three months, most parts of the country are set to experience above-average rainfall, according to a forecast made public on Monday by the Kenya Meteorological Department. 

Several regions of the country are expecting the rains to begin between the second and third week of October, with the exception of the Highlands West of the Rift Valley, the Lake Victoria Basin, Central, and Southern Rift Valley, where rainfall is anticipated to continue from September.

The Lake Victoria Basin, the Central and portions of the South Rift Valley, the Highlands West of the Rift Valley, the Coast, North-eastern Kenya, and the majority of the South-eastern lowlands are likely to experience rainfall above average in October.

Near-average rainfall is forecast for the Northwestern regions of the nation, the Southeastern lowlands (Kajiado), and the Southern Rift Valley (parts of Narok).

In order to fully benefit from the predicted increase in precipitation, Kenya MET has recommended farmers to take advantage of the opportunity to expand crop cultivation and pasture production.

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In addition, low-lying sections in the northern regions, the lowlands of the southeast, the coastal region, some areas of the Central and South Rift Valley, and poorly draining metropolitan have been warned of flash floods.

Residents are advised not to seek shelter under trees or near metallic structures in areas where lightning strikes are common, such as the Lake Victoria Basin and Western parts of the country, particularly Kisii, Kisumu, Nandi, Kakamega, and Bungoma.

The latest forecast comes just days after the Kenya Met Service identified several areas in Western Kenya that are likely to flood, including Nyakach, Nyando, lower areas of the River Nzoia, Winam Gulf, and lower areas of the River Sondu.

The weatherman had earlier urged Kenyans to be cautious as El-Niño returns this year, a phenomenon that occurs every 3 to 5 years and causes excess rainfall and flooding in the East African region.

The worst in recent memory was back in 1997 and 2006.

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