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Take advantage of predicted El Nino rains to boost food security, Kitui residents told

Kitui County is likely to face a repeat of the 1997 El Nino scenario if the current weather forecast goes as predicted.
A flooded road in Nairobi. Kitui County residents were urged by the county government agriculture CEC Kimwele to take advantage of forecasted El Nino rains.|FILE

IGAD El Nino Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) said that in October, El Nino related rains were predicted to hit most of eastern Kenyan. Kitui County lies in this region. Makueni and Machakos counties are also in this region.

The ICPAC forecast further added that heavier than usual rains were likely to continue through December across the country.

As the Weathermen declared El Nino rains, Kitui CEC for Agriculture and Livestock Stephen Kimwele called on residents to take full advantage of the predicted heavy rains by ensuring they were both food and water secure.

"The Weatherman has told us very clearly that we are going to be visited by El Nino. As the people of this region, we should neither ignore nor take this important information for granted", said the CEC on Tuesday as he addressed the media

However, CEC Kimwele noted that in the past, meteorologists got their forecasts wrong. He advised county residents to plant drought tolerant crops in anticipation of the heavy rains.

"In our area, our priority number one is drought tolerant crops that will do well even with little rains. Let us prioritize the planting of cowpeas, sorghum, greengrams, watermelon, pigeon peas and soya beans and then maize and beans. That way, we will be on the safe side", said Agriculture and Livestock CECM Stephen Kimwele.

The county minister  urged farmers to strive to harvest and conserve water. He said that Kitui County Governor Dr Julius Malombe was keen in supporting farmers in order to make his county food secure. Dr Malombe  will be distributing planting seeds before the El Nino rains start.
Kitui County Director of Meteorological Services Mr Daniel Mbithi during an earlier interview with MWINGI TIMES. The weatherman has predicted El Nino rains in Eastern region.

 The National Drought Management Authority announced that 184,569 persons in Kitui County will be in need of food assistance. The humanitarian aid will target 15 per cent of the population next month.

A report shared by Kitui County National Drought Management Authority Coordinator Francis Koma put the number of households in need of food assistance at 42,900. The county has a total population of 1.13 million people according to the 2019 census.


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