National Drought Early Warning Bulletin (June 2021)


Drought indicators

Rainfall Performance

The month of May 2021 marks the cessation of the LongRains over most parts of the country except for the western and Coastal regions according to Kenya Metrological Department. During the month of May 2021, most ASAL counties received over 70 percent of average rainfall except Wajir, Garissa, Kilifi, Lamu, Kwale, Taita Taveta and Tana River that received between 25-50 percent of average amounts of rainfall during the month of May as shown in Figure 1. Spatio-temporal rainfall distribution was generally uneven and poor across the ASAL counties. Figure 1 indicates rainfall performance during the month of May as percentage of long term mean(LTM).

Rainfall Forecast

According to Kenya Metrological Department (KMD), several parts of the country will be generally dry and sunny during the month of June 2021. Counties in Northwestern Region including Turkana, West Pokot and Samburu are likely to be sunny and dry with occasional rainfall expected from the third week of the month. The expected total rainfall is likely to be near the long-term average amounts for June. Counties in the Coastal strip including Tana River, Kilifi, Lamu and Kwale will likely receive occasional rainfall that is expected throughout the month. The expected total rainfall is likely to be below the long-term average amounts for June. The Highlands East of the Rift Valley counties including Nyeri, Meru, Embu and Tharaka Nithi are expected to experience occasional cool and cloudy (overcast skies) conditions with occasional light morning rains/drizzles. The expected rainfall amount are likely to be near the long term average for the month of June while the Northeastern Kenya counties including Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa and Isiolo and Southeastern lowlands counties including Machakos, Makueni, Kitui, Taita Taveta and parts of Kajiado are likely to remain generally sunny and dry. Occasional cool and cloudy conditions are however likely to occur over some counties in southeastern Kenya especially those bordering the central highlands.

Vegetation condition

As at the end of May 2021, counties experiencing vegetation deficit as per vegetation condition index (VCI) included Marsabit, Garissa, Isiolo, Tana River, Samburu and Kilifi. The six counties experienced moderate vegetation deficit implying that the VCI values recorded in May 2021 were below normal which indicates that the rains received so far were inadequate and had not brought about vegetation regeneration to the usual ranges for the period in the six counties.
Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) status as at the end of May 2021 is summarized in Table 1. At sub county level, Rabai, Kilifi south (Kilifi County) and Lagdera (Garissa) recorded the lowest VCI values with the three sub counties currently falling in the extreme deficit band which is attributed to the poor rains received in May 2021 in those particular areas. Generally, the negative VCI trends point to poor regeneration of pasture and browse during the month of May 2021.