Shock to Farmers as Low Rainfall in Short Rains Predicted by Kenyan Meteorologists.
The 2022 year has been rough for farmers in Kenya but with how things are sitting at the moment, things seem to be going south. The recently released Short Rains season prediction by Kenya Meteorologist seems to be a shock to farmers as it comes with low rainfall distribution than expected.
The Climate Outlook for October to December 2022, shows that most of parts the country are likely to experience low rainfall during this season. The reports show that the Eastern part of the country is going to be warmer above average while the Standardized Precipitation Index predicted precipitation for 3 to 12 months showing signs of long-term rainfall deficit in some parts of the country.
Short Rains October-November-December Season
The “Short Rains” season is one of the most significant rainfall seasons in a year, especially for farmers based in the Central and South-eastern parts of the country. However, this year’s “Short Rains” season seems to affect farmers in a great way. Most of the parts in Kenya are likely to experience poor rainfall distribution.
Below are some of the areas that are likely to receive below-average (depressed) rainfall as well as the areas expected to receive increased probabilities for below-average (highly depressed) rainfall.
Areas likely to receive below average (depressed) rainfall
- The Lake Victoria Basin,
- Highlands West of the Rift Valley
- Central and South Rift
- Counties in North Western Kenya;
- Parts of the Highlands East of the Rift Valley,
- Parts of the southeastern Kenya.
Areas with increased Probabillities for below-average (highly depressed) rainfall.
- North Eastern Counties
- Coastal region
- Much of southeastern Kenya,
- Parts of the Highlands East of the Rift Valley
Though the above the mentioned areas will have different experiences than the previous years, there are some of the parts that are likely to receive near-average rainfall though it will be heading towards the below average rainfall.
This parts of the country include some parts of Western part of the country like
- Trans Nzoia,
- Some parts of West Pokot
However, though the reports starts from October, the peak of the “Short Rain” season is expected to commence in November.
Areas Likely to have normal Short Rain season.
According to predictions the below parts are likely to have occasional showers as well as thunderstoms throught the whole season.
- Homa Bay
- Uasin Gishu
- West Pokot
- Elgeyo Marakwet
Some of this counties are best known as farming zones and with showers throughout the season things might be better for farmers in those areas. Nonetheless, despite of the showers throghout the season the rainfall will be poorly distributed in both time and space.
Counties likely to be affected by the Short Rains season
Northwestern Counties like Turkana and Samburu are likely to suffer a long dry spell throughout the season. However, this regions are expected to experience accasional rainfall during the season. On the other hand, the North-Eastern counties like Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa, Mandera and Isiolo are likely to suffer a long dry spell through out the season. According to the report these areas are likely to have only few day of rainfall and long sunny and dry weather.
How this season will affect the Agricultural Sectors.
For every agricultural practice to thrive, rain is one of the main contributor and when there are cases of no or low rainfall than usual then this sector remains under danger. At the moment the country has shortage of many farm produce including maize that is currently being imported from Tanzania and with the released report thing seems to be getting out hand as the condition is expected to worsen.
With low food production in the country the cost of living will definately go high than it is at the moment. Some of the farmers that i likely to feel a higher pinch of this season are livestock farmer who are commonly found in the Northern and Eastern part of the country, parts that we have seen will experience a serious rainfall shortage.
Following the report the government has already advised farmers to grow plants that mature early and can withstand drought. At the moment there is an livestock offtake program going on and enhancement is needed to save more animal from dying due to hunger.