The department of Meteorological services in Narok has advised residents to harvest and store water during the current short rains season as a precaution against a looming dry spell expected to be experienced in the month of February.
Speaking to KNA, the County Meteorological Director Peter Lunanu said the short rains that started in parts of the county on Saturday would last for only a week and added the precipitation will be followed by a prolonged dry spell.
“I advise everybody to collect and store water because a season is coming when the sun will be very hot and the level of water in the rivers will go down,” said Lunanu.
He also called on farmers to cultivate their farms in preparation for the planting season in March and April when the county will experience long rains.
According to a report from the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), the county registered light to moderate rainfall during the month of December 2021.
The amounts of rainfall received were poorly distributed in both time and space across the county with the mixed farming and agro-pastoral livelihood zones such as Narok North, Trans Mara East, and Trans-Mara West sub counties recording moderate rainfall.
The report showed that pastoral livelihood areas which cover most parts of Narok West, Narok South and Narok East sub-counties recorded light to no rainfall in the month of December 2021.
The decline in rainfall performance across the county led to decline in vegetation cover with the most affected sub counties being Narok East where vegetation deteriorated from normal greenness to moderate vegetation.
Pasture and browse conditions ranged from fair to good in the mixed farming zone and poor in the agro-pastoral and pastoral livelihood zones, according to the NDMA report.
The report showed that the terms of trade declined and livestock migration was observed towards the maize harvested regions of the county, Maasai Mara National Reserve and Mau and Loita forest areas.
Livestock disease incidences were reported as having been on an upward trend across all the species which was attributed to increased movements in search for pasture and water.
By Ann Salaton