The East African community bloc is destined for a very dry period between the month of October up to December, the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum has warned.
The Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum pools the national meteorological and hydrological experts in the region.
According to this agency, while October to December is normally considered an important rainfall season for Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, this time round a drier than normal season is expected in most parts of the EAC region.
Only western Uganda and the border area with South Sudan might see higher than normal rainfall according to the agency.
Rains in the region are expected to start late over Burundi, eastern Kenya and Tanzania while they will start earlier than usual in the rest of Kenya, Rwanda and southern Uganda including the border region with South Sudan.
The Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors in the EAC Secretariat, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, urges the Partner States to take appropriate measures in time to mitigate possible threats to the citizens related to the expected high temperatures.
These weather conditions are driven by near average sea surface temperatures over the western Equatorial Indian Ocean coupled with warmer than average conditions over the eastern Equatorial Indian Ocean, a combination which is not favourable for good rainfall over most of East Africa.
Due to the impact of climate change, scientists expect up to 45% yield reductions for grain crops, such as maize, rice and soybean by the end of this century for Sub Saharan Africa.
However, two grain crops, namely millet and sorghum, are more resilient to climate change with expected yield reductions of less than 20%.
Root crops, such as sweet potato, potato and cassava are also projected to be less affected than most crops with yields reductions ranging from about 15% to 10%.
For the two major export crops, tea and coffee, up to 40% yield loss is expected due to the reduction in suitable growing areas caused by increasing temperatures according to the Association of Applied Biologists’ Journals