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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya warns of heavy rains after dry spell

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s weatherman on Wednesday warned of heavy rains set to begin pounding several parts of the East African nation following months of intense heat.

The Kenya Meteorological Department in its three-day weather forecast, however, said the rains due to start on Wednesday are not the proper onset of the March-May rainfall season.

It warned that the downpour that could cause floods is likely to occur from Thursday to Saturday in counties in Western, Rift Valley, Nyanza, Central, and Nairobi area including Southeastern lowlands.

“Residents in urban areas are advised to be on the lookout for flash floods. In dry river beds moving water may suddenly appear. Soil erosion may occur in areas that have been dry and have bare soils,” the weatherman said.

It urged residents to continue listening to local media as updates which will be provided if conditions change significantly.

According to MET department, counties to be affected by the heavy rainfall include Kisii, Kericho, Bomet, Narok, Migori, Kakamega, Kajiado, Nakuru, Kwale, Marsabit, Turkana, Samburu, Nairobi, Nyeri, Kiambu, Murang’a, Kitui, Machakos, Makueni, Taita Taveta.

The forecast came as the East African nation is experiencing one of the highest temperatures across the country.

According to Peter Ambenje, the director of Kenya Meteorological Department, the normal temperatures that were experienced in the 1970s and 1980s have abnormally continued to increase, hence affecting agriculture, energy, water resource management, transport, health, environment and livestock sub sectors.

Ambenje said the intense heat is also negatively impacting the level of water in the country hence causing panic amongst stakeholders in the sub sector.

The government has imposed a three-month ban on logging and timber harvesting to protect water towers from drying up.

“The government has with immediate effect imposed a moratorium on timber harvesting in all public and community forests for a period of ninety days to allow reassessment and rationalization of the entire forest sector in Kenya,” said Deputy President William Ruto on Saturday.

Ruto noted that the country has faced an acute water shortage for the past three years due to the destruction of forests and encroachment of water towers.

“Deforestation, degradation and encroachment of water towers and other catchment areas, uncontrolled human activities including wanton logging have threatened and undermined the country’s capability to ensure food security. This situation poses a threat to the achievement of the big four agenda items of the Jubilee Government,” said Ruto.

             

 

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