By Andrew Kaggwa, NECJOGHA
NAIROBI, KENYA – A regional body that monitors climate in the Greater Horn of Africa has warned of flash floods and drought in parts of East Africa and other countries of the Greater Horn of Africa.
“March, April, May is an important rainfall season in East Africa. The forecast indicates a high likelihood of a wetter than usual season in western Kenya, south-western and eastern Uganda as well as eastern Rwanda and western parts of South Sudan. This increases the risk of flash floods in these areas,” said a seasonal forecast for the March to May (MAM) rainfall season released today by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC) based in Nairobi, Kenya.
The statement adds that considering October, November and December rainfall season was one of the wettest on record, leading to major floods across the region, which affected infrastructure and livelihoods, stakeholders are advised to remain vigilant and implement the required mitigation measures.
“On the other hand, drier than usual conditions are expected over central and north-eastern Ethiopia and southern Tanzania,” the statement reads.
ICPAC further adds that an earlier than usual start of rains is expected across most of the region, especially over northern Tanzania, northern Uganda, western and northeastern Kenya, south-western Ethiopia, and southern Somalia.
“A delayed rainfall onset is expected over central and north-eastern Ethiopia and northern Somalia. These areas are also likely to have prolonged dry periods a few weeks after the start of the season. Higher than usual temperatures are expected over much of the region, in particular, eastern Tanzania, eastern Somalia, eastern Ethiopia, southwestern Kenya, western Rwanda, much of Eritrea and Burundi as well as eastern and south-western Sudan,” the statement concludes.
This seasonal forecast follows the Fifty Fourth Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF54) where regional and international climate experts reached a consensus on the seasonal forecast for MAM. GHACOF54 which was organized by ICPAC was at Mombasa, Kenya at the end of last month.
The I16 page ICPAC statement titled ‘ Seasonal Forecast March to May; Summary for decision makers’ also includes advisories for every country in for sectors including disaster risk management, agriculture and food security, water and energy. Other sectors include livestock, health and conflict early warning