Residents in Makueni County’s Kilungu, Ukia, and Mbooni Hills areas have been issued a warning regarding potential mudslides during the upcoming El Nino rainy season.
Jonathan Ngayai, Makueni County Director for the Kenya Meteorological Department, emphasized the risk of flash floods in lowlands, particularly in Kibwezi East, and along the River Thwake and Athi.
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He urged those living in flood-prone regions to consider relocating to safer areas and to avoid crossing seasonal rivers during the El Nino period.
Ngayai highlighted that the government had established preventive measures and advised residents to closely follow official directives disseminated through local administration, radio broadcasts, and social media channels.
“The El Nino rainy season is expected to start in the third and fourth weeks of October and will end mid-January next year, 2024,” Ngayai stated during the Participatory Scenario Planning Workshop in Wote, Makueni.
He further cautioned that the season could bring occasional storms, resulting in flash floods and mudslides.
The workshop, attended by technical experts, including rainfall observers and agricultural officers, aims to collaborate with farmers in developing agro-weather advisories tailored to each ward’s specific needs.
Ngayai explained, “We convene before every season to anticipate potential scenarios and identify suitable crops for each ward, which will be shared with our farmers countywide.”
He stressed that following the advisories would enable both farmers and residents to mitigate the expected El Nino-related risks and minimize losses.
Additionally, Ngayai encouraged farmers to heed the advice on cultivating recommended crops in their areas to harness the full benefit of the rainfall.
He cautioned that river flooding could potentially damage crops situated near riverbanks, underscoring the importance of prudent crop selection.
Ngayai concluded by mentioning that both the county and national governments had established post-harvest measures, including the provision of dryers, available to farmers at National Cereal and Produce Board branches across the county.