It was the first time on record that two powerful storms had hit the southern African country in such a short space of time. It’s effects have been felt throughout Eastern Africa where the rains have effectively, failed, due to tropical cyclone Idahi’s effect of redirecting the moisture.
Scientists are still exploring if and how global warming may have increased the rainfall and storm surge brought by the cyclone Idai, which battered Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, killing 1000 people, washing away settlements and damaging infrastructure. They have a consensus that rising sea levels and intense rainfall in storms – the storm surge – would have worsened due to warming. Whilst it is normal for cyclones to happen on the southern African coast during February and March, their magnitude is determined by sea surface temperatures.
In Kenya, where 98% of agriculture is rain fed, some parts of the country have had a prolonged drought due to three years of failed rains. 70% of the population work in agriculture which contributes 25% to GDP, annually.
Uganda’s coffee exports dropped 17% in February, undercut by scant rains in some coffee growing areas, said the state-run regulator Uganda Coffee Development Authority. The beans are one of Uganda’s major exports and a big earner of foreign exchange for the east African country which largely cultivates the Robusta variety.