Weatherman Advises Farmers Against Replanting On Their Farms

Farmers whose lands were ravaged by floods after the onset of the March-April-May rains have been advised not to put them under a new crop but allow the surviving ones thrive. Nyeri County Director of Meteorological Services John Muiruri says the remaining phase of the rains will drastically reduce and will not be sufficient to sustain newly planted crops. Nyeri is among counties that were ravaged by floods after heavy rains of up to 700 millimetres coupled with thunderstorms pounded the county during the last one month. Some of the areas that bore the brunt of the floods include Kieni, Nyeri Town and Mathira East where dozens of families were forced to move from their farms after storm waters broke into their homes and farms. At least 120 families who were uprooted from the homes sought shelter at Gathiru Secondary School and Thunguma Primary Schools both located within Nyeri town. But Muiruru now says the on-going rains will subside significantly over the coming days and therefore not advisable for planting new crops to replace those destroyed by floods. 'The worst of the rains are behind us and we expect a significant reduction of the rains in the months of May and June. We also know much of what the farmers had planted in their farms was swept by floods and right now many areas are devoid of any crops. Our advice to farmers who lost their crops is to refrain from going back to their farms to plant afresh since the remaining phase of the rains will not sustain such crops,' he told KNA. The weather forecast for Nyeri for the period running May 14 to May 20 predict that much of the county will experience cloudy mornings breaking into sunny intervals with occasional afternoon showers over several places. Minimum day temperatures are set to range from 22 degrees to 25 degrees centigrade while night temperature are expected to dip to lows of up to 12 degrees centigrade. On whether the county is staring at a failed crop following the devastating floods, the officer said the Kenya Meteorological Department had shared their forecast with all government agencies and relevant county authorities for the March-April-May rain season in advance as a precautionary measure. He stated that once such information has been disseminated to the relevant stakeholders, the onus of what is to follow in regard to the impacts of the rains no longer falls under their mandate. 'Even before the start of these rains we had issued weather advisories in regard to their cyclic pattern. Here in Nyeri we did share the information with the Department of Agriculture and the National Drought Management Authority and in their view the rains would be sufficient to sustain crops to maturity,' he added. Meanwhile, a student from St Peter's Thunguma Secondary School narrowly survived drowning in Chania River yesterday morning after slipping into the swollen river. According to Nyeri Town chief Mary Wagathigo the Form Two Student from Witemere village had gone to fetch water at the river yesterday morning when she suddenly slipped and fell into the fast flowing river. Luckily, she managed to clutch at some riverine foliage and managed to get out of the raging waters. Yesterday a radio station and a number of social media users had reported that the girl had drowned into the river prompting frantic efforts from residents in a bid to rescue her The reports were later refuted after the family confirmed that the girl was safe at home with a minor scorpion bite injury. 'The alleged drown ing of the girl was actually reported to me after it surfaced on social media and was later aired on one of the radio stations. But on inquiry from the local Nyumba Kumi community policing coordinator I was informed the girl had only slipped into the river but was able to get out. At the time of this confirmation, she was actually in a saloon where she was having her hair done in preparation for reporting back to school today (Tuesday),' said Wagathigo. Over the last one month Kenya has experienced one of her worst floods in years that has left more than 300 people dead and destroyed homesteads in dozens of counties. In addition the floods are reported to have swept more than 8,000 heads of livestock and destroyed 36,344 acres of croplands according to a Kenya Red Cross report that was released early this Month. Some of the areas that bore the brunt of the floods include Tana River, Nairobi, Western Kenya, Rift Valley, Lake Victoria, Central Kenya and North Eastern region. Source: Kenya News Agency