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UN agency warns of poor rains in eastern Kenya

Tuesday February 20 2018

Drought-ravaged farm in Kangundo

A woman inspects her drought-ravaged farm in Kangundo. A United Nations long-range weather forecast for the Horn of Africa foresees no end to drought in eastern Kenya. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

KEVIN J. KELLEY
By KEVIN J. KELLEY
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NEW YORK

A United Nations long-range weather forecast for the Horn of Africa foresees no end to drought in eastern Kenya.

An aid agency also says dry conditions would make thousands of children drop out of school.

Normal to below-normal rains are likely to fall in eastern Kenya and much of Somalia between March and May, the World Meteorological Organisation said.

As a result, added the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the areas are likely to experience deterioration of pasture and crop conditions, increased water stress, migration, loss of livestock, human wildlife-conflict and tension.

“Failed rainy seasons and the likelihood of below-normal rains are likely to erode coping capacities of communities,” Igad’s climate prediction unit said.

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Schools in eastern Kenya are closing as families move in search of water and pasture.

According to the Ministry of Education, about 30 per cent of children in Wajir and Mandera counties are enrolled in schools.