Victoria Gioto* Shem Wandiga** and Christopher Oludhe**
* Institute of Climate Change and Adaptation, **University of Nairobi
Institute of Climate Change and Adaptation
P.O. Box 53547, Nairobi
(Received 10 May 2016, Received in revised form 29 July 2016, Accepted 1 August 2016)
AbstractKenyan agriculture is largely rain-fed and principally dependent on rainfall. According to FEWS NET report for Kenya in August 2010 based on historical data from 70 rainfall stations and 17 air temperature stations to interpolate the long-rains precipitation and temperature trends for all of Kenya from 1960 to 2009 (Funk et al, 2010). The FEWS NET report indicates that in Kenya long-rains traditionally occur between March and June and short rains in October to December. The authors report that Kenya has experienced trend of decreasing rainfall and rising temperatures as Sudan. In Central Kenya, one of the country’s key agricultural regions, the area receiving adequate rainfall to support reliable rain-fed agriculture has declined by roughly 45 per cent since the mid 1970s (Funk et al, 2010). This study investigates change in temperature and rainfall pattern across all livelihood zones in Tharaka Nithi County. Data was collected for 39 years (1976 - 2015) period for the area of Study and in addition divisions were made to three non overlapping climate period of 30 years (1982 - 1991, 1992 – 200 and 2002 - 2012). The data were subjected to Gaussian kernel analysis, moments, regression, and non-parametric approaches based on Mann-Kendal statistics to justify any change in the average monthly and annually rain fall and temperature trend. The results indicate common change points and transitions from wet to dry (upward shift). The test indicates rainfall variation over the study area is significant (p= 0.05).The study recommended on the use of the information for Agricultural development and general socio-economic improvement.
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