At a time when 11 million people are facing starvation in the worst drought in 60 years in Northern Kenya and the Horn of Africa, a group of scientists now say they can make rain.
The scientists say they can use weather modification technology to halt the devastating drought and bring rain in northern Kenya, Somali and Ethiopia, within 90 days.
“Aquiess Global Rain Project is offering its rainfall technology to break the drought by bringing gentle soaking rain to the region within the next 90 days,” says Mr David Miles, the director of operations and planning at Aquiess Global Rain Project.
He says they plan to do this as part of their humanitarian support for the region.
“We can not just sit and pretend that all is well, we have decided to come and see how we can help in alleviating the situation in this region,” said Mr Miles.
So, how will they make rain?
Mr Miles says an experiment on weather modification by Aquiess revealed that “small amounts of electromagnetic energy, applied intelligently,” could force change in the weather.
“This research culminated in the development of an atmospheric resonance technology that can adjust the path of rain bearing clouds,” said Mr Miles.
Last week, the company met UN agencies in Rome to discuss ways of applying their weather modification technology to break the drought in the Horn of Africa.
Mahendra Shah, the Director for International Policy and Communications at AquiessGlobal said the Horn of Africa project will not be the first in the world. He said they had held successful rain making projects in Australia, Qatar and the US.
“We used our rain making technology in Australia in 2005 to draw rains into Murray Darling Basin, Eastern Australia, which ended their drought within five months,” says Mr Shah.
He says 50 years of research had enhanced their knowledge on the dynamics of rain making and that the world cannot watch as human beings die without doing anything.
“Aquiess is doing this project on humanitarian grounds and the project will cost $10 million (Sh900 million), which we would request the donor community to fund for the sake of ending the drought,” said Mr Shah.
Mr Bill Pollock, the chairman of Aquiess Global, said whereas the top priority in the region is emergency relief aid, there can be no end to the humanitarian crisis until the rains come and the drought is broken.
“The weathermen are saying the soonest the region can get rains is in October, until then the world would have used billions of shillings in addressing the situation, but rain will be a cost-cutting measure because we can have people go back to their normal lives,” said Mr Pollock.
He said that there has been a decline in the support for weather modification research in recent years because of skeptics who doubt the technology.
Mr Miles said 70 per cent of the world’s rain falls into the oceans, and they were interested in diverting part of these rains to the semi-arid lands in the region.
The Weather Meteorological Organisation says the rain making technology dates back to the late 1940s. According to organisation, there are currently a dozens of nations operating hundreds of weather modification projects, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions all over the world. Kenya Meteorological Department’s deputy director, PeterAmbenje, said weather modification was not new in Kenya and that it was part of Vision2030.He said the ministry of the Environment and Mineral Resources plans to the establish a cloud chamber laboratory for rainfall enhancement and hailstone suppression.
“As a country we cannot overlook the project, we would have liked to pursue it but the problem is the cost. It is expensive to create rain, but it is part of our vision 2030,” said Mr Ambenje.
Mr Ambenje said there was a complete department on the weather modification at the Metrological Department.