NAIROBI, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) — The Greater Horn of Africa region could experience above-average rainfall from October to December linked to the El Nino weather phenomenon, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African bloc, said in its latest weather forecast released in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, Tuesday.
There is more than 80 percent likelihood of wetter than usual October-December rains across the Horn of Africa region, especially southern Ethiopia, eastern Kenya, and southern Somalia, noted IGAD. Intense precipitation in the last quarter of the year will resort to torrential rains and possible flooding in a huge swathe of the East and Horn of Africa region, climate modeling from IGAD’s affiliated Climate Prediction and Applications Center (ICPAC) that is based in Nairobi, indicates. “We have now entered El Nino conditions which for eastern Africa are synonymous with wetter conditions during the October-November-December season,” said Guleid Artan, the director of ICPAC. Artan observed that enhanced October-December rains will be a respite for subsistence farmers and pastoralists in the Horn of Africa region who have endured three years of devastating drought. He warned that torrential rains could fuel the spread of invasive pests like desert locusts, landslides, and flash floods, worsening the fragility of communities already on the frontlines of the climate crisis.
Artan called upon governments and relief agencies to strengthen disaster preparedness and response, given the likelihood of flooding in the looming El Nino rain season. Hussen Seid Endris, a climate modeling expert at ICPAC, said that longer-than-usual wetter conditions anticipated across the Horn of Africa region will boost the regeneration of pasture and agricultural productivity, leading to improved food and nutritional security outcomes. There is a 90 percent probability of most parts of the Horn of Africa region registering more than 200 millimeters of rainfall, Seid said, urging governments to prioritize the safety of civilians in flood-prone lowlands. He called upon central and local governments to invest in resilient drainage systems, water harvesting, and storage technologies to avert the risk of flooding.