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Kenya - Agency issues early warning of impending drought

The National Drought Management Authority has issued an early warning of an impending drought. It says citizens should store food and farm produce carefully to last through the upcoming dry spell. This follows heavy rains witnessed in the country from March to May.

The rains were preceded by prolonged drought that affected many counties, especially in pastoral areas, leading to death of livestock and scarcity of food.

In a June report sent to media houses, the authority says the seasonal rainfall boosted crop and livestock production in most counties.

In arid and semi-arid areas, drought indicators show enhanced rainfall that was fairly distributed both in time and space.

Counties such as Kwale, Kilifi, Makueni, Marsabit, Garissa, Baringo and Turkana had rainfall in excess of 110 per cent of the long term mean for May.

Short-lived and intense rainfall significantly boosted crop production, but caused flash floods in counties such as Baringo, Marsabit, Turkana and Makueni.

Water sources in Marsabit were fully recharged, while most pans and dams in Narok had above normal water levels.

The report also indicates that in marginal agricultural counties, the crops are in fairly good condition. Harvesting of beans, pigeon peas, cow peas and green grams has started.

“In pastoral counties, the condition of livestock has improved significantly as a result of availability of forage and water, leading to increased milk availability and household income,” says the report.

The seasonal rainfall also resulted in high vegetation, with arid and semi-arid counties recording “greenness values that are within normal to above normal ranges”.

Milk production has risen by five per cent in Marsabit while crop production has increased.

Source – https://www.nation.co.ke

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