The Busia County Government, in partnership with the Impact Research and Development Organisation (IRDO), has launched an El Nino awareness campaign to cushion residents against the impending catastrophe. Early this month, the meteorological department issued an alert that Kenya is likely to experience an El Nino phenomenon in the October-December short rain season in some parts of the country. The rainfall is expected to continue until January 2024. The last time Kenya experienced such conditions was in 2006, and the worst El Nino season occurred in 1997. Addressing the press on the sidelines of a three-day workshop for 25 community health promoters from Teso North Sub County that started on Monday at Hotel Suddex in Amagoro, the region's public health officer, Alfayo Ogecha, said the training will help create awareness on El Nino preparedness and resilience. 'Community health promoters will assist the county government to disseminate information to communities within their jurisdictions on the dangers associated with El Nino, which is a rare phenomenon,' he said. 'The objective of the training is to create awareness about the possible impacts of El Nino on livelihoods and health. This has attracted the attention of IRDO, a Non-Governmental organisation, to help in averting the inherent dangers,' he added. Ogecha, who is coordinating level one health services within the sub-county, said they opted to offer training to CHPs because they have direct contact with communities. 'The awareness campaign will focus on people living in swamp areas and those staying along rivers to cushion them against outbreaks of diseases like diarrhoea that come along with the El Nino impact,' he said. Allan Onyango from Impact Research Development Organisation, which is funded by the Kenya Red Cross under the Global Fund, said they have been working in Busia County since 2021, focusing on HIV prevention and treatment and COVID-19 preparedness. Onyango urged county residents to be alert and work closely with CHPs to reverse the impact of the impending disaster. El Niño (Spanish for 'the boy') is a climate pattern in the Pacific Ocean, but it can impact the weather worldwide. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), under normal conditions, 'trade winds blow west along the equator, taking warm water from South America towards Asia. To replace that warm water, cold water rises from the depths-a process called upwelling. El Niño has an impact on ocean temperatures, the speed and strength of ocean currents, the health of coastal fisheries, and local weather from Australia to South America and beyond.
Source: Kenya News Agency