Despite the locust invasion in some parts of the country, farmers will harvest enough food for themselves and their livestock, Mohammed Elmi, the Chief Administrative Secretary State Department of Environment and Forestry has said.
Speaking while officially opening the 54th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum on Monday, the administrator said the Government is dealing with the invasion to avert complete loss of crops in the fields.
He said the meeting couldn’t come at a better time as it is an important occasion in the calendar of the IGAD Climate and Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC)
This meeting signifies a continuation of the long ICPAC tradition in which eminent local and international scientists come together to share their research findings and provide the outlook for the expected weather situation across the ten IGAD countries which Kenya is a member.
He said the negative effects of climate change can be seen all around in the form of global warming and corresponding increase in the frequency of adverse weather and extreme climate events which occasionally evolve into disasters.
The administrative secretary said the Kenya Meteorological Department had predicted a very wet short rains season during the months of October to December 2019 seasonal rainfall which came and destroyed lives and livelihoods as well as substantial damage to various infrastructure.
He said Kenya has set aside budgets, partnered with various national, regional and international organizations through various projects to adapt and/or mitigate against the effects of severe weather events and disasters when they occur.
He, however expressed that the speed at which the weather and climate is changing has made it challenging to fully address the unexpected impacts of the adverse weather occurrences.
Mohammed noted that the conference is an appropriate reminder that even as countries adapt and mitigate against rapid increase of weather-related hazards, it is important to ensure that the populace is able to manage the risks resulting from climate change and build resilience.
He reported early warnings of such negative and/or positive events help the policy makers in planning for the disasters as well as preparing the citizenry to cope with them.
He commended the meeting that brings together climate scientists, researchers, academia, users of weather and climate information from key socio-economic sectors, government and non-governmental organizations, development partners, decision makers and civil society stakeholders among others.
Meteorology plays a critical role in the socio-economic development of any country and it is for this reason that ICPAC in collaboration with the Kenya Meteorological Department has also organized specific sector workshops to provide a platform for further understanding on how the weather and climate will affect them during the coming long rains season. Reports from these sector workshops will be used to mitigate against the expected seasonal weather effects.
The CAS encouraged ICPAC, in partnership with other research and application organizations in the field of weather and climate, to ensure that the right input is provided to the National Governments through the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in the IGAD region to ensure that the necessary information particularly concerning the expected weather situation in the coming March to May 2020 season, is passed on to all citizens at the grassroots.
By Joseph Kamolo