Automatic weather station launched in Kajiado
Monday April 3, 2023
by Rop Janet
The government has set up an Automatic Weather Station (AWS) at Enkorika Kajiado Central which will assist farmers in planning when to plant and harvest crops thus improving their yields.
The automatic weather station is among 154 other stations set up in 24 counties at a cost of Sh 500 million by the World Bank through the Kenya Climate-Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP).
The AWS built at a cost of Sh5 million has a data logger component that will relay information to farmers on temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, soil conditions, rainfall quantities and other variables every five minutes to a 15km radius.
Data collected from the station on temperature and wind speed helps farmers determine the right time to spray pesticides.
The AWS will also assist in warning farmers in advance of adverse weather conditions such as hail storms, excessive or deficient rains thus allowing them to plan accordingly.
Speaking during the launch, State Department for Environment and Climate Change Deputy Secretary of Administration Mr. Cornelius Sangura revealed that information from the weather station will help increase agricultural productivity thus boost food security.
Sangura added that the station will help farmers choose the right crop to grow depending on the rainfall patterns and soil texture. “Monitoring soil moisture and temperature and maintaining these parameters at the correct levels is crucial for cash crops that have short harvest cycles,” he said.
He further called on residents to plant trees to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. “I want to urge all farmers to plant trees in their farms. For us to achieve the target of planting 15 billion trees in Kenya by 2030, each farmer must plant a total of 300 trees in their homes,” said Sangura.
Mr. Salim Kinyimu, an ICT expert from Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KARLO), noted that the Automatic Weather Station will automatically send real-time ground weather data from Entorika, Kajiado Central to their offices thus improve the dissemination of farm specific agro weather advisories to Kajiado farmers.
Kajiado County Commissioner Felix Watakila echoed Sangura’s sentiments and called on all locals and government institutions to plant trees even as the rainy season commences.
The CC warned those involved in illegal logging and charcoal burning that their days were numbered.
“We have had rampant felling of trees and charcoal burning and this has contributed to the prolonged drought witnessed in this county. We are conducting a crackdown on all charcoal dealers and loggers as we must put a stop to this illegal trade,” said Watakila.