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Kenya farmers battle El Nino floods

Friday, June 03, 2016 - 01:25

Farmers in western Kenya count their losses as unusually high rainfall linked to the El Nino weather pattern destroys their crops. David Pollard reports.

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They need the rain waters to grow their food in this part of Kenya. But not this much. (SOUNDBITE) (Swahili) ISAAC MUGENDA, FARMER, SAYING: "In all my three acres of land there is nothing to harvest. I don't have any food to sell and pay school fees for my child. So we are worried. Everything's been carried away by the flood waters." The culprit is El Nino. The global weather phenomenon that's parched other parts Africa to drought doing just the opposite here. Maize and beans are the local staple crops. Those destroyed - and more. (SOUNDBITE) (Swahili) MARGRET NANJALA, KITALE RESIDENT, SAYING "The maize is now destroyed, the chickens have died, ducks and even some of our neighbours have died." And others forced to move. Around a thousand households displaced. Some - like the 50 refugees housed here - now playing a long waiting game. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SAMUEL CHEPKOLE, DIRECTOR OF PROJECTS AND SPECIAL PROGRAMMES, COUNTY GOVERNMENT OF TRANS-NZOIA, SAYING: "We brought them here as the government we supplied them with some basic needs to keep them alive like mattresses, foods, utensils and such." There are efforts to, if not control the damage, then at least monitor it. Local met officials taking records - and advising local farmers. The fear though is of a profound shift in weather patterns. That flooding like this is becoming less and less a rarity.

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Kenya farmers battle El Nino floods

Friday, June 03, 2016 - 01:25