Expect long rains from April

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By IRENE MUGO
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The meteorological department has said that long rains will begin in April, thus farmers should not hurry to till their farms.

Aberdare region meteorology director Mr Francis Nguatah warned farmers that even in April, the rains may not be evenly distributed.

“The current weather conditions will continue till April,” said Mr Nguatah.

He also cautioned farmers in Mount Kenya region against preparing their farms for the planting season after it rained in Nyeri for two days, giving farmers a glimmer of hope after months of scorching sun.

“The rains were not unusual as people want to put it. When the full moon is out, light showers are common phenomenon,” said Mr Nguatah.

The weatherman said that the rains were not suitable for planting as they are unreliable and inconsistent.

Mr Nguatah noted that during the day, temperatures were rising to a high of 27 degrees and at night the temperatures drop to seven degrees.

The rains that poured on Saturday and Sunday afternoon elicited excitement among residents who started preparing their farms for planting in anticipation of more rains.

On Saturday afternoon, only Nyeri town experienced the rains for about 15 minutes. Karatina, Othaya and other neighbouring towns experienced light showers.

Social media platforms were awash with posts on the rains which surprised many owing to predictions by the weatherman of no rains until March.

One of the social media users, Moses Kuria, on his Facebook page said: “Proving the weather man wrong, Nyeri raining cats and dogs nani kama Mungu (Who is like God).”

A farmer in Kieni termed the rains a blessing, hoping that they would continue to reduce the effects of crop failure. “Our crops are almost drying up. We hope that it will continue raining” he said.

The county had warned that more than 24,000 are in dire need of relief food due to drought. Ms Milkah Muthoni, a resident, said the rains were a sign from God that the drought would not persist as feared.

“We have seen in the news that millions are facing hunger. But this is an indication that it will rain soon and we will not suffer,” said Ms Milkah Muthoni.

A forecast for the month of January indicates that most parts of the country will remain sunny and dry.

But a few areas in Western Kenya, especially those to the south of the Lake Victoria Basin, are going to experience occasional light to moderate rainfall.

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