By Frank Lukwago New Vision /NECJOGHA
Kampala, Uganda – “Do not drive, ride or walk across flooded areas or bridges with running waters one foot or 30 centimeters high. Wait! It takes 15 to 20 minutes to clear.”
This was the warning the experts issued ahead of the expected floods in different parts of the country in the coming months.
“Overall , there will be an increase in average rainfall with a tendency above normal over the northern region, parts of eastern region and parts of Lake victoria,” the experts added.
Floods are expected in Kampala, Teso, Kigezi, some areas of Acholi and Bukedi in the last quarter of the year (September to December 2019), according to a bulletin published by the Uganda National Integrated Early Warning System.
Released yesterday by the disaster preparedness and refugees ministry, the bulletin also indicates that districts in the mentioned regions will receive above average rainfall.
For Bugisu sub-region, the above normal rains will cause floods and landslides. The situation will persist up to the end of October.
“Persons living on steep slopes and close to river banks are strongly urged to relocate and stay in homes of friends and relatives in safer locations up to the end of October,” the Government cautioned.
Through the official Government of Uganda Inter-Ministerial/Agencies monthly National Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning Bulletin, the Government has since called for vigilance in the affected parts.
The bulletin is issued on the 15th day of every month to notify the ministries, departments, authorities, UN, agencies and general public on probable disasters which may occur without warning.
Thunderstorms and hailstorms are expected where near normal to above normal rainfall is forecasted. Lightning is expected around lakes Victoria and Kyoga.
Due to the prevalent weather conditions, such areas will be prone to malaria, measles, cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever and communities in these districts are advised to observe highest levels of hygiene.
Due to continuing rainfall, people living on the hills of Mt. Elgon, Rwenzori and southwestern regions need to be vigilant while those on the northern parts of Mt. Rwenzori also need to be cautious.
Farmers have been advised on early stocking and delivery of inputs for the season – timely planting at the onset of rainfall in early September, plant improved higher yielding varieties and stagger planting of short cycle crops.
Planting of longer maturing crops such as cassava at the start of the season, application of good agronomical practices like timely wedding, proper spacing of crops, thinning, timely harvesting, soil and water conservation practices , crop monitoring and surveillance for pests and diseases and report new epidemics to nearest extension officer among others.