The weather outlook for the next three months, February, March and April, indicates that mainly sunny and dry weather conditions are expected to prevail over several parts of the country.
In the monthly forecast released by the Kenya Meteorological Department, rainfall is expected during the second half of March and in April.
Temperatures are also likely to be above average over several parts of the country except over parts of the Highlands east of the Rift Valley, Lake Victoria Basin and parts of the Highlands west of the Rift Valley and parts of southeastern lowlands where normal temperatures are likely.
The forecast signed by the Director of Meteorological Services Dr. David Gikungu indicates that parts of the western sector, the central Highlands including Nairobi, the southeastern lowlands and the Coastal regions will receive rainfall beginning March and into April.
“The forecast for February 2023 indicates that most parts of the country will experience generally sunny and dry conditions throughout the month. Occasional rainfall (few rain days) is however likely to occur over a few places in the Lake Victoria Basin, Highlands West of the Rift Valley, Southern Rift Valley, parts of the Highlands East of the Rift Valley including Nairobi, and parts of the South-eastern lowlands,” says Dr. Gikungu in the forecast.
The Weatherman says that the northern sector of the country is likely to receive rainfall in April and remain generally dry in February and March. Temperatures are expected to be warmer than average over the whole country during the forecast period.
Dr. Gikungu notes that with the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) remaining neutral and La Niña conditions still present, “the dry weather conditions expected during the month are likely to worsen the food security situation over the northern and parts of the eastern sectors of the country.”
The Weatherman is further warning that the current drought being experienced over the northern and parts of the eastern sectors of the country “is expected to intensify and may spread to other parts of the country,” and urges the relevant authorities to put in place measures to avert any loss of lives and livelihoods.
He says that the limited pasture and water over the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) could lead to resource-based conflicts among the pastoral and farming communities.
While noting that cases of human and wildlife conflicts are likely to escalate as wildlife migrate in search of water and pasture, Dr. Gikungu is warning that wildlife deaths could also increase in the conservancies due to lack of pasture and water and advises relevant authorities “to provide watering points and pasture for the wildlife to prevent any deaths as well as minimize human and wildlife conflicts.”
He is urging the public to take precaution and avoid activities that are likely to lead to the occurrence of wildfires in forests, parks, and game reserves and called for measures that ensure fast response in case of wildfires as well as put in place measures to conserve the environment.
Cases of malnutrition and related diseases could also increase in the ASALs due to food scarcity hence the need for monitoring and surveillance in order to provide food and food supplements “to the most affected members of the community,” says Dr. Gikungu and adds, “the expected high temperatures during the month in most parts of the country may lead to heat stress and heat-related discomforts, the public is therefore advised to hydrate appropriately and avoid working in the open, especially in the afternoons.”
Dusty conditions could also lead to an increase in respiratory tract infections.