The Kenya Meteorological Department, on Monday, September 21, published a report detailing the unexpected weather patterns experienced in 2019 and the effects of the same over the last year.
The report titled State of Climate – Kenya 2019, highlighted a worrying trend that has had a negative impact on the country in general.
“Kenya’s weather and climate are changing in response to global warming. The March-April-May (MAM) or long rains season is crucial to the agricultural production of the country,” reads an excerpt from the report.
According to the report, MAM 2019, recorded very low rainfall (less than 50%). This in turn affected crop output, which explained the sharp hike in food prices, most notably the tomato crisis of 2019.
During this period, prices for one crate of tomatoes increased from Ksh4,000 to Ksh10,000.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a recent report published by Reuters revealed that farmers are now ‘swimming’ in tomatoes, having enjoyed a bumper harvest as a huge percentage of the population reverted to farming during the lockdown.
“I can’t see myself breaking even this year. We have an abundance of produce and now we have no or very low market,” a farmer based in Kirinyaga told Reuters.
The weatherman further highlighted that climate variability and drastic changes presents many risks to people and communities, more so in developing countries such as Kenya, because of limited adaptation capacity.
Additionally, 2019 stood out statistically in comparison to other years both in the short and long term in that most of the daily, monthly, seasonal, and annual changes were quite significant.
The heavy rainfall of the October-November-December (OND) 2019 season resulted in widespread flooding that led to the displacement of many families, especially near the Kenyan border with Ethiopia.
In November 2019, consecutive days of heavy rain (>20mm/24hrs) in Western Kenya triggered massive landslides and flashfloods in West Pokot County.
The unexpected floods coupled with huge dust storms that hit parts of the country including Nairobi, made 2019 a year characterised by worrying weather trends.
More recently, the country experienced extremely cold weather during the first few weeks of September 2020, with parts of Narok experiencing hails of snow.
The weatherman explained the phenomenon and urged Kenyans to brace for more extreme conditions, due to the effects of global warming.
Notably, scientists argued that the pandemic may have helped in slowing down global warming as there was a significant drop in carbon emissions over the last few months due to lockdown directives.
Also in other news;
Businessman Chris Obure has been released on a Sh2 million cash bail and two sureties of the same amount.
Obure was charged alongside his bodyguard Robert Bodo with the murder of Kevin Omwenga.
Bodo has been released on a cash bail of Sh500,000 and two sureties of the same amount. Learn more