El Nino is a climatic phenomenon characterized by the periodic warming of the sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, which can have significant effects on weather patterns around the world including Kenya. Here is a brief history of the previous El Nino rains in Kenya: 1997-1998 El Nino, this El Nino event was one of the most powerful in the 20th century. In Kenya, it brought heavy rains, flooding, and landslides. Major rivers such as the Tana and Nzoia burst their banks, causing widespread damage to infrastructure and agriculture. 2015-2016 El Nino, this event was associated with above-average rainfall in Kenya. It resulted in severe flooding, displacement of people and damage to roads and bridges. Crops were destroyed, leading to food shortages in some regions. These El Nino events underscore the significant impact of such climate phenomena on Kenya often leading to alternating periods of drought and heavy rainfall, with serious consequences for agriculture, water resources and infrastructure.
In August, the Kenya Meteorological Department forecasted that the country is likely to experience El Nino rainfall between October and December 2023. In this regard, Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi during an inspection tour of ongoing drainage works in Kiuu Ward, assured the entire county population that they are committed to doing their level best to mitigate and manage any eventuality that may arise. In Kiambu County, a contingency fund of Ksh.50 million has been set aside to address unforeseen challenges during the El Nino season.
The Governor also stated that through the County Department of Water, Environment and Natural Resources, the county government has identified and mapped out all flood-prone hotspots within the county and has already put in motion mitigation measures to mitigate the adverse effects of the expected torrential rains. He added that Kiambu County Government has started unclogging and clearing drainage systems in preparation for the impending El Nino weather phenomenon. He further said emergency funds have been allocated to ensure the availability of all the necessary resources required for the exercise.
The governor called upon all the unemployed youths in the Kiambu wards to register for the unclogging and building of drainages jobs as he had initiated the hiring of casual laborers to assist in clearing drainages since time is limited as we are already in the month of October.
On his part, Kiambu Water, Environment, Energy and Natural Resources CECM David Kuria urged Kaimbu residents to stay informed about the weather forecast, monitor the weather forecast and be aware of the risks of flooding and landslides. He further implored the citizens to desist from illegal dumping and clear structures built on drainage and sewer lines or in areas that are prone to flooding and landslides.
In conclusion, we get to witness that we have experienced some light showers in Kiambu County. Will the rains fall or is this just another speculation from the Kenya Meteorological Department?