Today it finally rained.
For weeks, the weather-woman has been telling us to prepare for El Nino, only yesterday after questions were raised in the public about her predictions, did she come out again fists pounding telling us ‘STOP DOUBTING! PREPARE FOR EL NINO!’ ’ – almost like a frustrated preacher annoyed that the heavens have yet to fulfil her doomsday prophecy.
And then, after days and days of the hot sun, dust and endless open skies, this morning it rained. Could this be El Nino? Has he arrived?
Who is El Nino and why should we be concerned?
The word El Nino in Spanish means ‘Christ’s Child’, so named because of the periodic warnings that come around Christmas time near South America. El Nino is felt across South America, North America and here, at home in East Africa.
The deadliest El Nino was recorded in 1997 – and this year, the weather forecast says we should brace ourselves for a strong El Nino, but less devastating than the El Nino of 1997.
El Nino Weather forecast
“Predictions indicate there is a likelihood of enhanced rainfall over much of the country during the “Short Rains” (October-December) season in Kenya. In some parts the rains may extend into January 2016. Heavy storms are likely to occur more so, during the month of November”
What does this mean to you?
The Good news
- For farmers, the rain will be God send. Crops and animals will receive nourishment. And food supply will increase.
- For the rest of us, prices for food will come down once the markets are full.
The Bad news
In Nairobi expect transport and logistical nightmares. It will be reasonable to expect to spend 8 hours travelling a distance of 10 kilometers. Like on Ngong Road for example.
Flooding and mudslides. (Remember receiving Whatsapp photos and video clips of floods earlier this year – expect more)
In some areas, there will be an outbreak of Malaria and other waterborne diseases
- And most certainly we can expect an El Nino corruption scandal, like this one
What can YOU do to prepare for El Nino?
Invest in a good umbrella, and hold onto it through the rainy season. This should be your first investment. Buy a second, just incase you loose the first (if you are forgetful like me)
Invest in appropriate clothing – a good jacket to keep the rain off, and good shoes that will keep your feet dry
Ladies – let us get hairstyles that will will tame El Ninos attacks
At home, stock food. Avoid the last minute rush. And the inconvenience of looking for food in floods.
Invest in a power back up. El Nino will bring blackouts. MamaMikes can help you here
We have bright solar lamps that use LED lights up to 150 lumens (this means they are very bright in the dark). They can be charged using normal power, your laptop (with a USB port) or the the sun. These lamps also charge mobile phones. We will happily deliver them to you at a cost of 200/-
If you drive, or ride in a car/bus/matatu and you come across what looks like shallow water on low bridges or near river banks. Turn back. Avoid the risk of driving through. The water will sweep you away.
At home, if you see blocked drainage, open them now. Let the water flow away freely. Don’t wait.
If you have leaks in your home, fix them now. They will only get worse with the pounding of the rain.
Do you have tips on how to manage El Nino, please add them below