Impact of Rainfall Variability on Rural Tea Roads in Kericho, Kenya

  • Nancy Chemutai Koech Kenyatta University
  • Sammy C. Letema, PhD Kenyatta University
  • James Kibii Koske, PhD Kenyatta University
Keywords: Climate Change, Rainfall Variability, Repairs and Maintenance, Rural Tea Roads, Kericho County
Share Article:


Climate variability is a global phenomenon that is posing a threat to the infrastructure and agricultural sector. Intense precipitation often results in the deterioration of rural road infrastructure resulting in inaccessibility. Rainfall and temperature data from 1989 to 2019 was obtained from Kenya Meteorological Department. Data on Greenleaf and cost of repairs and maintenances are from selected tea factories managed by Kenya Tea Development Agency. Data on perception is based on a questionnaire survey of 398 randomly selected tea farmers. Results show that climate variability is experienced in Kericho (p < 0.005). There is a varsity variation in mean maximum temperatures F(0.05, 29) 5.564 (p ꞊ 0.009) and mean minimum temperature F(29) =8.503 (p ꞊  0.000). However, the linear regression analysis shows that rainfall has decreased (y ꞊ 2.5476x - 40.778) while the temperature has increased (y ꞊ 0.028x - 0.4473). There is a significant positive correlation between the amount of rainfall and cost of repairs and maintenances for five factories (r ꞊ 0.122, r = 0.046, r = 0.029, r = 0.255) except one (r = -.261, p ꞊ .466). Therefore, the climate has significantly varied from 1989-2019 and heavy rains occur periodically that damage rural tea roads, thus impacting negatively on tea transportation. There is a need, therefore, for heavy investment of emergency funds for repair and maintenance of rural tea roads based on rainfall variability and heavy rain return period pattern.


Download data is not yet available.


Azapagic, A., Bore, J., Cheserek, B., Kamunya, S., & Elbehri, A. (2016). The global warming potential of production and consumption of Kenyan tea. Journal of Cleaner Production, 112, 4031–4040.

Bakhsh, K., & Kamran, M. A. (2019). Adaptation to climate change in rain-fed farming system in Punjab, Pakistan. International Journal of the Commons, 13(2).

Bett, G. K. (2018). An Assessment of the Effects of Climate Variability on Tea Production in Kericho County: A Case Study of James Finlay’s (Kenya) Limited Tea Estates, Kericho, Kenya. Master’s Thesis, University of Nairobi.

Cook, J., Hearn, G., Paige-Green, P., & Hagues, D. (2015). An Overview of Engineering Geology and Sustainable Rural Infrastructure Development. In Engineering Geology for Society and Territory-Volume 5 (pp. 443–446). Springer.

Elizbarashvili, E. S., Tatishvili, M. R., Elizbarashvili, M. E., Elizbarashvili, S. E., & Meskhiya, R. S. (2013). Air temperature trends in Georgia under global warming conditions. Russian Meteorology and Hydrology, 38(4), 234–238.

Government of Kenya (GoK). (2017). Climate Risk Profile for Kericho County. Kenya County Climate Risk Profile Series. Nairobi, Kenya. The Ministry of agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MoALF).

Hirsch, R. M., & Archfield, S. A. (2015). Flood trends: Not higher but more often. Nature Climate Change, 5(3), 198.

International Tea Committee (ITC). (2016). Annual Bulletin of Statistics (No. 52). UK Bulletin.

Le Roux, A., Engelbrecht, F., Paige-Green, P., Verhaeghe, B., Khuluse-Makhanya, S., McKelly, D., Dedekind, Z., Muthige, M., Van Der Merwe, J., & Maditse, K. (2016). Climate adaptation: Risk management and resilience optimisation for vulnerable road access in Africa. Climate Threats Report: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Paige-Green Consulting (Pty) Ltd and St Helens Consulting Ltd, 1–65.

Le Roux, A., Khuluse-Makhanya, S., Arnold, K., Engelbrecht, F., Paige-Green, P., & Verhaeghe, B. (2019). A framework for assessing the risks and impacts of rural access roads to a changing climate. International journal of disaster risk reduction, 38, 101175.

Leshamta, G. T. (2017). Assessing the Suitability of Tea Growing Zones of Kenya under Changing Climate and Modeling Less Regret Agrometeorological Options. Department of Meteorology, University Of Nairobi.

Lobell, D. B., Schlenker, W., & Costa-Roberts, J. (2011). Climate trends and global crop production since 1980. Science, 333(6042), 616–620.

Luo, X., & Xu, X. (2018). Infrastructure, value chains, and economic upgrades. The World Bank.

Molua, E. L., Mendelsohn, R. O., & Akamin, A. (2020). Economic vulnerability to tropical storms on the southeastern coast of Africa. Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies, 12(1), 1–14.

Mujere, N., & Moyce, W. (2018). Climate Change Impacts on Surface Water Quality. In Hydrology and Water Resource Management: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice (pp. 97–115). IGI Global.

Mwangi, E., Wetterhall, F., Dutra, E., Di Giuseppe, F., & Pappenberger, F. (2014). Forecasting droughts in East Africa. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 18(2), 611–620.

Ng’etich, W. K., Stephens, W., & Othieno, C. O. (1995). Clonal tea response to altitude in Kericho. 2: Weather, climate analysis and soil water deficits. Tea-Tea Research Foundation of Kenya (Kenya).

Nianthi, R. (2018). Climatic variability associated with tea cultivation: A case study of Nuwaraeliya Pedro Tea Estate in Sri Lanka. Case Studies Journal, 5(9).

Nijamdeen, A., Zubair, L., Salih, R., Lokuhetti, R., Hadgie, T., & Randiwela, M. (2018). Seasonal Climate Variability Impacts Tea Production across Tea Regions of Sri Lanka. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, 2018, GC53G–1038.

Nkomo, L. S., Desai, S. A., Seutloali, K. E., Peerbhay, K. Y., & Dube, T. (2019). Assessing the surface material quality of unpaved rural roads to understand susceptibility to surface deterioration. A case study of four rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C, 112, 3–11.

Ochieng, J., Kirimi, L., & Mathenge, M. (2016). Effects of climate variability and change on agricultural production: The case of small scale farmers in Kenya. NJAS-Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, 77, 71–78.

Omeny, P. A., Ogallo, L., Okoola, R., Hendon, H., & Wheeler, M. (2008). East African rainfall variability associated with the Madden-Julian Oscillation. Journal of Kenya Meteorological Society, 2(2) 105–114

Omumbo, J. A., Lyon, B., Waweru, S. M., Connor, S. J., & Thomson, M. C. (2011). Raised temperatures over the Kericho tea estates: Revisiting the climate in the East African highlands malaria debate. Malaria Journal, 10(1), 12.

Solomon, S. (2007). IPCC (2007): Climate change the physical science basis. In AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.

Wang, T., Qu, Z., Yang, Z., Nichol, T., Dimitriu, D., Clarke, G., & Bowden, D. (2019). How can the UK road system be adapted to the impacts posed by climate change? By creating a climate adaptation framework. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 77, 403–424.

Wheeler, T., & Von Braun, J. (2013). Climate change impacts on global food security. Science, 341(6145), 508–513.

Yamane, T. (1967). Statistics: An introductory analysis. New York: Harper & Row.

4 March, 2021
How to Cite
Koech, N., Letema, S., & Koske, J. (2021). Impact of Rainfall Variability on Rural Tea Roads in Kericho, Kenya. East African Journal of Environment and Natural Resources, 3(1), 38-48.