UN helps Kenya prepare for potential floods due to El Niño

10 September 2009

The United Nations is helping Kenya prepare to mitigate the impact of potentially lethal torrential rains anticipated for the last three months of the year due to the El Niño weather pattern.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and Kenya’s Ministry of State for Special Programmes will co-chair a consultative workshop on 15 September to draw up contingency plans in the face of El Niño, a periodic warming of the eastern Pacific Ocean that can produce droughts in some parts of the world and flooding in others.

“Previous experiences of El Niño rainfall in Kenya in 1997/8 and torrential rains in 2002/3, 2006 and 2008 resulted in the disruption of livelihoods, population displacement, loss of property and assets, damage to infrastructure and death of people and livestock,” OCHA said today.

In its most recent update on the subject, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) stated that the expectation is for El Niño conditions to very likely prevail through the remainder of 2009 and into the first quarter of 2010.

 

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