Ruto, Gachagua differ on El Nino rains
President William Ruto and Rigathi Gachagua have publicly differed over the possibility of the country experiencing El Nino rains.
In an address to the media in Nairobi on November 10, 2023, Gachagua confirmed the country will indeed experience the El Nino rains.
“I think the matter is settled … .sooo El-Nino (rains) it is,” said the DP.
The DP was collaborating on information relayed by an officer attached to the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD).
“I want to point out that as initially given in the forecast, we have El Nino in this short rainy season of 2023. Moving forward, let us prepare ourselves for the enhanced rainfall due to the El-Nino phenomenon that we are in at this time,” said the KMD official.
However, President Ruto had, on October 22, 2023, announced the country would not experience the El Nino rains.
The Head of State attributed his announcement to ‘God’ and fresh research by the Meteorological Department.
Instead, President Ruto said the October-November-December 2023 season will experience short rains that will not necessarily cause devastating impacts to farmers.
“You recently heard that our country is going to experience El Nino, but who is God, you heard that those people say that we will not have it (El Nino) but there will just be heavy rainfall,” he said.
“Even with that heavy rainfall that we will get, we have prepared our farmers to produce enough yields so that we can have food in January,” he added.
He noted that the ongoing rains have disrupted movement in various parts of the country, displaced many, and caused deaths.
He asked Kenyans to be on the lookout.
Meanwhile, speaking about the country’s preparedness to handle the ongoing rains, Gachagua noted that the government will deploy aircrafts by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to evacuate those in danger of being caught in the floods.
He added that the government will distribute food, including rice, beans, maize, and cooking oil to the affected families.
El Niño occurs when warm water builds up along the equator in the eastern Pacific. The warm ocean surface warms the atmosphere, which allows moisture-rich air to rise and develop into rainstorms. This leads to heavy rains and flooding.