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Murang’a farmers to brace for depressed rainfall

Many parts of Murang’a County will receive depressed rainfall during the November – December rain season.

The county meteorological director Paul Murage has said the rains which are expected to start towards the end of October will also be poorly distributed in both time and space.

He observed that the prolonged cold weather season which started in June and is still being experienced in September has played a part in the expected late onset of short rains.

“The onset of short rains is expected to be from October 22 and the rainfall will last for about 60 days meaning it will end before Christmas thus affecting maturity of some crops like maize,” Murage told KNA on Tuesday.

The director advised farmers to consult agricultural officers on the best crop variety to plant, saying the maize crop may not mature well with depressed rainfall.

“Reduced seasonal rainfall amounts, late onset, early cessation and poor distribution is likely to negatively affect agricultural production especially lower and middle zones.

Some crops like beans among other types of legumes mature within a short period and if farmers are well advised, they may plant crops which take two months to mature,” he added.

Murage further said with depressed rainfall, availability of water for general and domestic use in dams and water pans is expected to reduce.

“Participatory watershed management should be embraced to reduce conflicts from those in irrigated farming,” he advised.

Murang’a County has experienced low rains for three consecutive rain seasons since last year thus posing a threat to food security. Lack of enough rains has caused food shortage especially to residents who live in lower zones of the county.

Murage said there is a need to employ measures which will help in the mitigation of climate change not only in the county but also in the whole country.

“Conservation of the environment is needed. People should also be advised to stop cultivating at river banks. Currently our rivers have low water levels,” he stated.

By Bernard Munyao

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