East Africa faces sixth consecutive failed rain season amid climate crisis – weatherman
East Africa is expected to experience continued below-average rainfall and longer dry spells this year, as well as warmer-than-average temperatures.
This will be the sixth consecutive failed rain season for the region, which has already suffered from severe drought, food insecurity and conflicts.
These weather predictions were announced at the 63rd Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACoF) held virtually on Wednesday hosted by Kenya and attended by representatives from 11 countries and various regional and international organizations.
According to the predictions, longer dry spells are expected in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.
David Gikungu, the Director of the Kenya Meteorological Department, said this is the first time in 40 years that such a prolonged dry spell has been observed.
He said that his department is working with other agencies to provide timely and accurate weather forecasts and data.
” It is not a small matter, it is the first time we have seen this in 40 years,” Gikungu said.
The IGAD Executive Secretary Garbane Gebeyu delivered his speech online on behalf of IGAD, an eight-country trade bloc in Africa that includes governments from the Horn of Africa, Nile Valley and the African Great Lakes.
He thanked Kenya for hosting the event and praised the achievements of ICPAC (IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre), which has been providing seasonal forecasts and early warnings for climate extremes for 25 years.
He also urged ICPAC and participating weather departments to strengthen their collaboration and coordination to provide more than just early warnings. He said that early action is also needed to mitigate the effects of climate change on food security, agriculture, health and livelihoods.
Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya also addressed the forum and expressed her concern over the current climate crisis that the horn of Africa is experiencing. She said that it is resulting in a catastrophic humanitarian calamity and that there is a need to develop climate services that are tailored to their needs.
She added that the demand for climate information in this time and age cannot be overemphasized and that they have an ambitious plan to plant 15 billion trees in the next 10 years. She also said that they need to create more awareness of climate change and that they will host Africa Climate Action Summit in Kenya.
Through this summit, she said they seek to invite as many ministers from Africa to come and discuss ways to undertake the job at hand. She also suggested that the theme of such forums in the future should be early warnings to avoid crisis management in order to avoid fire fighting.