By Luganda David, NECJOGHA Uganda

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Farmers and pastoralists have been advised to harvest water to taken them through the coming rain season as the rain season comes to an end.

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) in its rainfall forecast for the period from 21st to 31st May, 2019 which it released this week indicates that  the season for the first rains is projected to relax/ cease in late May to early June, 2019 for the western part of the country, the communities in the cattle corridors of southern and central areas are advised to harvest rainwater during this period for storage as well as taking the advantage of available natural water sources for localised irrigation.

While reviewing the season UNMA says the on-going rains have been disruptive, with effects ranging from water logging, damage by hailstorms to cropland and tree crops including flooding and submergence of parcels.

“Transportation also had its share in destruction of bridges and culverts in several parts of the country,” the release adds.

Also reviewing the May 11th to 20th decadal (10 day forecast) UNMA says overall rainfall performance was significantly enormous in the entire country to the extent that even the areas that received the least amount of rainfall of 18.0mm such as Ntusi in Sembabule District had 8 rain days in terms of distribution.

Concerning the temperatures for the past decadal UNMA notes that the highest maximum temperature recorded during this period was 33.80C at Wadelai weather station in Packwach District and a mean maximum temperature of 31.2 0C was established. Other weather stations, whose maximum temperature exceeded 300C, were Kasese, Masindi, Kiige in Kamuli District, Tororo, Gulu, Soroti, Lira, Serere, Kawanda in Wakiso District and Bulindi in Hoima District.

“The lowest minimum temperature extremes for the entire country were in the range of 12.0 to 18.4 0C, the latter was recorded at Masindi while the former was observed at Kabale weather station,” the release says.

OTHER ADVISORIES

Apart from harvesting rain water, UNMA ends its 10 day forecast by giving other advisories especially to farmers and pastoralists. The advisories include:

  • Construct drainage channels across and around all crop parcels for all those located in low lying areas to reduce water logging. Water logging is often results in delayed cultivation, decay of crop roots and reduction in maturity period of crops.
  • Monitor and report any emergence of crop pests, animal parasites and plant diseases to technical staff at sub county and district.
  • Undertake tree planting for income generation and reduction of devastating impacts of hailstorms and gusty winds to crops.
  • Those on slopes of highlands should be advised to plough and plant along contours to reduce surface run off and soil erosion. To alternate strips of grasses and annual field crops arranged across slope to check runoff and erosion and help in increasing moisture storage in soil.

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