The Kenya Meteorological Department has released the October-November-December Weather Forecast. The Climate Outlook for the October-November-December (OND) 2020 “Short Rains” season indicates that several parts of the country are likely to experience depressed rainfall while Western Kenya is likely to receive near-average to below-average rainfall.

This will be driven by near average Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) over the western Equatorial Indian Ocean (adjacent to the East African coastline), coupled with warmer than average SSTs over the eastern Equatorial Indian Ocean (adjacent to Australia). This constitutes a negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) that is not favorable for good rainfall over most of East Africa. Also, Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are near-to-below average across the central to eastern Pacific Ocean which implies that mild La-Nina conditions are present.

The distribution of the rainfall in time and space is expected to be generally poor over several areas especially during the month of October and the peak month of November. In the month of December sunny and dry conditions are expected to prevail over several places in the country as the cessation begins.

Potential Impacts in Disaster Risk Management Sector

In the ASALs where depressed rainfall is expected, water scarcity and lack of pasture for domestic use and livestock are likely to be exacerbated due to the dry conditions experienced in the months of July and August 2020 and the dry conditions expected in September 2020. Human-wildlife and intercommunity conflicts over the limited resources are likely escalate, in these areas.

In western Kenya where near-average to below-average rainfall is expected, lightning strikes are highly probable, especially in Kisii, Kisumu, Nandi, Kakamega and Bungoma (Mt. Elgon areas) counties. As mentioned earlier some parts of the country have been experiencing continuous rainfall from the 3rd quarter to 2019 to date. This means that some rivers and lakes may continue to experience rising water levels.

Cases of flooding, landslides/mudslides in Western Kenya as well as Central Rift Valley are also highly probable. Some infrastructure like buildings and bridges may collapse and some roads may be cut off due to high rainfall amounts The Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government and other humanitarian institutions are therefore advised to put in place measures to avert possible negative impacts that may arise including loss of lives, livelihoods and property.

Advise to Stakeholders and Public

It is advised that stakeholders invest in effective disaster preparedness planning before the onset of the anticipated OND Rains. The members of the public living in flood risk areas are advised to be on the watch out for the onset of the OND and evacuate to higher grounds together with their property and livelihoods.

NDMU is currently undertaking stakeholders’ sensitizations/awareness creation on effective disaster preparedness. You are encouraged to send a request for sensitization / training to our email info.ndmu@disastermanagement.go.ke