Summary: Torrential rains being experienced in Kenya, especially North Rift and South Rift regions have affected hundreds of households who have been forced to seek temporary shelter in market centres, while some have been integrated in the community. An assessment carried yesterday by KRCS indicates that more than 700 households have been affected by floods in Kwanza, North Rift Region.
The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) is currently conducting assessments in the affected areas to ascertain the extent of damage. This will enable the Society to provide food and non-food items (NFI), search and rescue services, health, water and sanitation services in order to combat possible disease outbreaks.
According to the FEWS NET, a La Niña event has been declared based on the cooling of sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the central Pacific Ocean. Currently, the country is experiencing normal rainfall in parts of Lower Eastern, West Kenya regions. Parts of Pokot, Turkana, Subukia, Trans Nzoia districts are experiencing above normal rainfall which is as result of the La Nina.
La Niña events can also result in poor March?May rains in the eastern sector of the region. The main areas of concern are those that depend on the short rains for crop and pasture productions which are mainly the northeast pastoral and southeastern marginal agricultural areas of Kenya. In pastoral areas, below?average rains could lead to rapid depletion of resources, livestock clustering in permanent water points, limited dry?season grazing areas, reduced livestock productivity and value, thereby gradually reversing substantial food security gains.
In agricultural areas, poor October to December rains would negatively affect agricultural labor opportunities, food availability and prices. The impacts of a La Niña event in the northern and western sector of the region are likely to be less severe. Above average rains could improve crop and livestock conditions, though they could also increase the risks of flooding, soil erosion, and seasonal disease prevalence.