Local News

Residents counting losses after hailstones destroy crops

Residents of sections of Nyamira and Kisii Counties are counting losses after a heavy downpour accompanied by hailstones pounded their villages Sunday evening.

Food crops including vegetables, maize and tea were extensively damaged.

Affected villages include Sironga, Ikobe and Ting’a in Nyamira County.

The lower side of Ting’a, including Nyankanda which is within Kisii County, also got its share of the hailstones.

The hailstones formed huge heaps by the roads, farms and roofs.

“The land looks strange you may think you are in a foreign land,” Evans Ouru, a resident of Ting’a said.

Cattle that were tethered in an open ground near Ting’a market were not spared by the hail.

Drivers plying Kisii-Chemosit road were forced to be careful to avoid causing accidents.

Monday morning, Agasa Okwena who was planning to harvest his tea was in shock.

“The tea is badly damaged. I have nothing to harvest any time soon,” Okwena said.

His neighbour, Rose Ombasa, said she had applied fertiliser on her tea farm on Friday.

“The extent of erosion means the fertiliser has been swept away,” she said.

Experts say hailstones are formed when raindrops are carried upward by thunderstorm updrafts into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere and freeze.

The hail falls when the thunderstorm’s updraft can no longer support the weight of the hailstone.

This can occur if the stone becomes large enough or the updraft weakens.

By Darlington Mose

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