TMA predicts above normal rainfall for Tanzania

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By Padili James Mikomangwa,

The Exchange East Africa/NECJOGHA

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA – The Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) has today Thursday released the seasonal rainfall forecast for the March to May season (MAM 2020) for the bimodal areas predicting normal to above normal for most parts of Tanzania.

“Sufficient rains especially over the areas expected to receive normal to above-normal rains are likely to favor crops that are adaptative to excessive soil moisture such as paddy rice. Pastoralists can also expect sufficient pasture and water for livestock,” said the Director General of TMA, Dr. Agnes Kijazi at the organisation’s head office at Ubungo Plaza, Dar es Salaam.

Key issues from the outlook

  • From March to May 2020 rains are likely to be normal to above normal in the coastal regions (Tanga, Unguja and Pemba islands, the eastern part of the lake zone, Simiyu, Shinyanga, Geita, Mara and Mwanza regions. These areas are highly dependent on agriculture, mining and livestock-keeping activities for their livelihood.
  • Normal to below normal rainfall is expected to occur in commercial city Dar es Salaam, Kigoma and Morogoro regions, as well as some parts of Mafia island.
  • The ongoing off-seasonal rains over the bimodal areas are likely to coincide with the start of the MAM, 2020 season, particularly over the northern coast.

The seven-pager outlook drew several crucial aspects to be considered by all sectors in the coming rainfall season.

The outlook gave advisories and early warnings to various weather-sensitive areas such as agriculture and food security, livestock and wildlife, natural resources and tourism, water and energy, local authorities, health sector and disaster management.

Expected Impacts

According to Dr. Kijazi outbreak of diseases and pests are expected due to the moist conditions and stagnant water.

Concerning the locust invasion in Tanzania she said that the wind is a factor for locusts migration and currently the winds are less-speedy, blowing 20 to 25 km per hour, while 28 km per hour winds may trigger migration hence their speed has been slowed down.

Small-scale miners operations may be disturbed by excessive water, triggering landslides and cave-ins over areas expecting to receive normal to above-normal rains. Precautions are urged to avert loss of life, as rainfall cause miners death yearly in Tanzania.

“Short periods of rain may be expected, in areas with average to below-average rains, hence necessary precautions ought to be taken” Dr. Kijazi adds.

TMA advisories

  • In areas expecting to receive normal or above rainfall, agriculture, fisheries livestock and mining operations may be affected.
  • Farmers are urged to practice, pasture storage, planting drought-resilient crops, place soil-erosion control measures and improve irrigation.
  • Fishing can be impacted due to excessive water levels in production dams, hence measures to enhance structures are advised.
  • Rainfall could cause damage to energy generation infrastructures (dams, also—power generation may improve due to sufficient water availability, safety precautions are urged.
  • Local authorities are urged to take precautions in enhancing road structures, sewage systems, drainage structures to avert damages caused by water-runoff and floods wiping away infrastructures and causing chaos in cities.
  • Normal and above normal rains may discharge abundant water in some parts, hence waterborne diseases (cholera, typhoid, diarrhea) could erupt when unclean water is utilized, water may trigger vector breeding and increase malaria cases. TMA urges communities and authorities to take health precautions and address the deterioration in the quality of water.

 

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