Kenya unveils its first localised weather modelling system dubbed the Climate Atlas as it races to put an end to perennial food shortage in the era of climate change

Ravaging drought in Kenya has killed 9
  • The Climate Atlas is expected to be launched in March next year.
  • The technology was developed by researchers from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, who developed the technology.
  • Climate change is already taking a toll across East Africa and erratic weather - from recurring droughts to heavy rains - is becoming commonplace.

Needless deaths and suffering from annual droughts may soon be a thing of the past in Kenya.

The country is on the verge of launching its first localised weather modelling system which will provide key data on how climate change is likely to impact crop production across the East African nation.

On Tuesday, researchers from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, who developed the technology dubbed the Climate Atlas said it will provide projections on rainfall and temperature patterns across Kenya's 47 counties from the year 2050 to 2100.

"The Climate Atlas will provide us with future scenarios of what the weather patterns will be like at a county-level in Kenya," John Wesonga, the lead developer of the web-based Climate Atlas platform, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Wesonga explained that there were countless global climate modelling systems available, but none provided localised data for Kenya over a long period.

"We are looking for data such as in which locations will we see the highest and lowest temperatures and rainfall, how high and low will the temperatures and rainfall likely to be, what time of year they will happen, and how long they will last."

The Climate Atlas is expected to be launched in March next year. The model was first developed in the Netherlands and is used by provincial authorities for planning purposes. It is also being developed for Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Climate change is already taking a toll across East Africa and erratic weather - from recurring droughts to heavy rains - is becoming commonplace in countries such as Kenya, Somalia, Uganda and Ethiopia. 

Since October, floods sparked by heavy rains have inundated farmland, destroyed infrastructure and killed at least 48 people in central, western, northeastern and coastal parts of Kenya.

Prior to the floods, Kenya was already dealing with acute food shortage with more than three million people reported to be on the brink of starvation in northern Kenya as communities of herders compete for water and pasture, according to the National Drought Management Authority.

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