Residents in Kisii County have been alerted to brace for lower rainfall, which will range from near average to below average during the short rains season.
The County weatherman therefore advised the residents to prepare for the weather abundantly to avoid disappointments in the area, which received from average to above average rainfall during the last season.
Addressing the press in Kisii town, County Meteorological services director Henry Sese said distribution of the rainfall is expected to be poor in several parts of the county during the October-November-December short rains season.
Mr. Sese who was accompanied by Director for Agriculture Mr. Nathan Soire, Fisheries Mr. Edwin Muga and their Kenya Forest Service counterpart Charles Mong’are cited various impacts and emergency measures that should be put in place to circumvent negative outcomes of the rainfall, which will be accompanied by thunderstorms, strong winds and flash floods.
He urged the Agriculture, Livestock Development and Food security sectors to advise farmers on the best land use management methods.
On environment and natural resources, Sese urged Ministry of Environment and Forestry to encourage residents to put in place soil conservation measures to minimize environmental degradation through soil erosion and to increase forest cover in line with the Presidential directive of raising forest cover to 10 percent by the year 2022.
Sese advised the water ministry to encourage residents to harvest water by use of special large polythene sheets used as water reservoirs, and the sewerage company to carry out repairs of the system to avoid spillage of sewer waste into drinking water hence posing a health hazard.
He also called upon the disaster management sector to beware of lightning strikes and strong winds, and discouraged residents from sheltering under trees and quarry caves to mitigate against falling branches and collapse respectively.
The weatherman appealed for health facilities to be equipped with ample medication, as various parts of the county are likely to experience an outbreak of diseases like malaria and respiratory diseases.
Sese also cautioned motorists to drive carefully to avoid accidents occasioned by slippery or impassable roads.
Areas likely to receive below average rainfall of between 350-400mm include Masimba, Kiamokama, Gesusu, Nyacheki and Borabu.
Mr, Soire noted that the weather forecast portends that farmers of tea and horticultural crops are likely to experience lower yields and advised they do soil water conservation structures in their farms to salvage the situation.
He said maize crop harvest was likely to be lower than for last season as the rains were likely to dissipate before the maize tasseled.
Mr. Muga advised fish farmers using ponds not to stock up for December festivities but to sell their products earlier to avoid losses through flash floods, and to buy fingerlings from reputable hatcheries.
The ecosystem conservator urged residents to plant trees early to increase survival rate and those near power lines to be pruned to avoid disaster.
By Clinton Nyamumbo and Jane Naitore