UNMA predicts normal rains for most parts of Uganda

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Executive Director of UNMA, Dr. Festus Luboyera.

By Andrew Kaggwa , NECJOGHA

KAMPALA, UGANDA – The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) has today released the seasonal rainfall forecast for the March, April and May season predicting normal to above average rains for most parts of the country.

“Overall, there is an increased likelihood of near normal to above normal (wetter than average) rainfall over several parts of the country,” a release signed by the Executive Director of UNMA, Dr. Festus Luboyera says.

On start of the rain season UNMA says: The onset of the seasonal rains is expected to be early in South-western (late February) with a gradual progression in other parts of the country. The rainfall onset over the Eastern, Northern and North-eastern Uganda is expected to get established around mid-March to early April.

However, UNMA warns that the MAM2020 rainfall season is highly expected to be associated with thunderstorm activity that is likely to be characterized by lightning, strong winds and hailstones in some parts of the country.

Regional outlook

  • South and Central Western Uganda

South Western:(Kisoro, Kabale, Rubanda, Rukiga, Rwampara, Kazo, Rukungiri, Kanungu, Ntungamo, Mbarara, Kiruhura, Isingiro, Ibanda, Kitagwenda, Bushenyi, Buhweju, Mitooma, Sheema, Rubirizi and Kasese) districts.

The region has been experiencing dry conditions in most areas punctuated by unseasonal rains since January. The onset of the rains is expected around late February to early March. The peak of the rains is expected around early to mid-April and cessation around late May. Overall, the region is expected to receive above normal rainfall (exceeding their average rainfall).

Western Central:(Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa, Kamwenge, Kibaale, Kikuube,Bunyagabu, Kakumiro, Kagadi, Hoima, Buliisa, Masindi, Kiryandongo) districts

The region has been experiencing isolated light showers and dry conditions since January. The onset of seasonal rains associated with isolated outbreaks of light showers and thunderstorms is expected in around early to mid-March. Thereafter, steady rains are expected to get established with the peak of the rains expected during the month of April. Cessation of the seasonal rains is expected around late May to early June.  Overall, there are high chances for the region to receive normal rains slightly tending to above normal.

  • Central Region and Lake Victoria Basin

Western areas of Central region:(Nakasongola, Luwero, Kyankwanzi, Kakumiro, Kasanda, Nakaseke, Kiboga, Mubende, Sembabule, Western Masaka, Lyantonde, Kyotera and   Rakai) districts

The region has been experiencing isolated rains and some dry conditions since January. The onset of seasonal rainfall associated with occasional outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms is expected around early to mid-March.  The peak of the rains is expected to occur around mid to end of April. While the cessation of the seasonal rains is expected to occur around late May to early June. Overall there are higher chances of near normal rains.

Central and Western Lake Victoria region(Kalangala, Kampala, Wakiso, Eastern Masaka, Lwengo, Mpigi, Butambala, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi, Gomba, and Mityana) districts

The rgion has been experiencing off seasonal rainfall over several areas since January. The onset of the rains associated with isolated outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms is expected to get established around early to mid-March. The peak of the rains is expected to occur around early to mid-April with cessation around late May. Overall, there are high chances for most of the areas to receive near normal with the tendency to above normal rainfall during this season.

Eastern areas of Central region:(Mukono, Buikwe, Kayunga, Buvuma) districts

The region has been experiencing dry conditions with intermittent outbursts of showers and thunderstorms since January. The onset of the seasonal rainfall is expected around early to mid-March, and this is likely to be associated with isolated light showers and thunderstorm.  The peak of the rains is expected around early to mid-April with the cessation around late May to early June. Overall, there are high chances for most of the areas to receive near normal with the tendency to above normal rainfall during this season.

Eastern Lake Victoria and South Eastern(Jinja, Mayuge, Kamuli, Iganga, Bugiri, Namayingo, Luuka, Namutumba, Buyende, Kaliro,Bugweri, Busia and Tororo) districts

This region has been experiencing outbursts of rain punctuated by dry spells since January in some areas. The onset of the seasonal rains is expected around early to mid-March. The peak is expected around mid-April to early May. The cessation of the rains is expected around late May to early June. Overall, there are high chances for most of the areas to receive near normal with the tendency to above normal rainfall during this season.

  • Eastern Central(Pallisa, Budaka, Kibuku, Butebo, Mbale, Sironko, Manafwa, Namisindwa, Bududa,  Kapchorwa, Kumi,  Kalaki,Kaberamaido, Soroti, Serere,  Butaleja, Bulambuli, Kween, Bukwo, Bukedea and Ngora) districts.

This region has been experiencing dry conditions with occasional outbursts of unseasonal rains since January. Onset of the seasonal rains is expected around mid to late March which will eventually lead to steady rain by early to mid-April. The peak of the rains is expected around Mid-May and thereafter moderate relaxation around mid-June.  Overall, high chances of above normal rains is expected to occur over this region.

  • North Eastern Region: (Katakwi, Amuria, Moroto, Kotido, Nakapiripirit, Abim, Napak, Kapelebyong, Nabilatuk, Karenga, Amudat, Kalenga, and Kaabong) districts

This region has been experiencing dry conditions characterized by isolated rains since January. Outbursts of irregular rains are expected in mid-March which will eventually lead to the onset of steady rain by late March to mid-April. The peak of the rains is expected around early to mid-May, and thereafter moderate relaxation around mid-June. Overall, high chances of above normal rains is expected to occur over this region.

  • Northern Region

North Western:(Arua, Maracha, Moyo, Obongi, Madi Okollo, Zombo, Nebbi, Pakwach, Yumbe, Koboko, Terego and Adjumani) districts

The region has been experiencing dry conditions with sporadic rains since January. The onsetof the seasonal rains is expected around mid-March to early April with the peak of the rains at around late April to early May, followed by moderate relaxation around mid-June. Overall, there are high chances for most of the areas to receive near normal with the tendency to above normal rainfall during this season.

Central Northern Parts: (Gulu, Omoro, Lamwo, Nwoya, Amuru, and Oyam) districts

The region has been experiencing dry conditions with occasional light rains since January. The onset of the seasonal rains is expected to get established around mid-March to early April with the peak of the rains expected to occur around mid-April to early May. Thereafter, a moderate relaxation of the rain is expected around mid-June. Overall, this region is expected to receive near normal with a slight tendency to above normal rainfalls.

Southern eastern areas of northern region:(Amolatar, Lira, Alebtong, Pader, Otuke, Kitgum, Agago, Kole, and Dokolo) districts

The region has been experiencing dry conditions, characterized by sporadic rain since January. The onsetof the rains is expected around mid-March to early April with the peakof the rainsexpected around mid to end of April.  Thereafter, moderate relaxation of the rainfall is expected around mid-June. Overall, this region is expected to receive near normal with a tendency to above normal rainfall during this season.

Advisories

UNMA concludes by giving advisories for the different sectors as below:

  • Agriculture and Food Security Sector

Generally, the March to May (MAM 2020) forecast presents good prospects for improved agricultural production across the country. Farmers and other agricultural practitioners are highly encouraged to take advantage of the expected good rains to optimize food and crop production.

The general advisories include: early prepositioning of seed and other agro/livestock-inputs in/or near agricultural/pastoralist communities, timely land preparation and early planting, expansion of farming acreages, proper seed selection to optimize yields, water harvesting and micro-irrigation (where necessary), maximizing agroforestry/plantation tree planting, restocking livestock farms, fish ponds and apiaries; and intensifying agricultural extension/veterinary services across all agricultural/pastoral communities, among others.

  • Disaster Management Sector

It should be noted that local and month-to-month variations might occur as the season progresses. For example, episodic flash floods might be experienced in some areas leading to loss of lives and destruction of property. Other disasters may arise from possible landslides mostly in mountainous areas of western, south-western and eastern Uganda as well as strong and gusty winds and lightning among others. Therefore, appropriate measures should be taken to avoid loss of life and destruction of infrastructure and property. For instance, Village, Sub county and District Disaster Management committees are advised to report any emerging incidents associated with weather and climate hazards immediately to the concerned authorities and to the Office of the Prime Minister. De-silt the dams in Karamoja sub region to capture and store the water flows from expected rains for use. 

  • Water, Energy and Hydro-Power generation

Plans for optimization of power generation and distribution should be enhanced due to the expected increased discharge of seasonal rain water into the water bodies; Setting up and protection of vegetated/forested buffer zones around water sources to guard against water pollution should be encouraged and communities should avoid consumption of contaminated water.

  • Infrastructure, Works and Transport Sector

The anticipated near normal to above normal rainfall patterns are likely to be occasionally accompanied by intense rainfall events that may lead to flash flooding in some localized places especially in Kampala city and other urban areas. The following measures should be taken:-

Urban authorities need to clear and reduce blockages of the drainage systems to avoid water logging on streets; Strong/violent winds may be experienced that can cause structural damages to buildings (blow off rooftops and collapse of poorly constructed buildings); De-silting drainages and other water channels to curtail flooding is encouraged;

  • Health

There is need to increase disease surveillance due to expected upsurges of epidemics of diseases related to rainy season such as malaria, cholera, bilharzia and typhoid, also increase in lower respiratory diseases e.g. asthma due to humid conditions and allergies from some flowering plants are expected. Health authorities are therefore advised to be on the lookout and equip health units with necessary drugs to deal with such situations as they may arise.

Therefore the following measures should be done:

Intensify health education and awareness campaigns emphasizing the use of mosquito nets, slashing bushes, disposing open containers, filling up open pits, and draining stagnant water around homesteads in order to reduce breeding places for mosquitoes; Frequent health inspection in all communities is encouraged; Increased prevention for air borne diseases and non-communicable illnesses should be improved; Improve domestic hygiene and Sanitation around homes and schools to reduce on the contamination of water e.g. use of latrines.

Related stories:

UNMA predicts above normal rainfall in most parts of the country

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Experts predict heavy rainfall for March to May season forecast 2020

 

 

 

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