Rains may extend to June – UNMA

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Farmers are advised to continue weeding and pruning and other essential agronomic practices for crops

By David Luganda, AFMC/NECJOGHA

Kampala, Uganda – The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) has forecasted increased rainfall for the month of May with a chance of extending into the month of June, 2020.

“The rainfall outlook for May, 2020 indicates that several parts of the country have an increased likelihood for receiving normal to above normal rainfall with a chance of extending into June, 2020. However, most parts of the south western, western, eastern and Lake Victoria basin are likely to have high chances of increased rainfall. Peak rainfall is expected between early to mid-May and thereafter, a relaxation in rainfall is likely to occur gradually towards June, 2020,” a UNMA statement authored by Festus Luboyera, the executive director of UNMA says

UNMA advised the farmers to continue weeding, pruning and other essential agronomical practices for crops and significant increase in water levels in most water reservoirs such as lakes, rivers and streams during this month.

According to UNMA, weather systems influencing the present rains are the neutral phases of El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) over the equatorial Eastern and Central Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD).

“Northern hemisphere high pressure systems are expected to relax significantly, while their counterparts in southern hemisphere are expected to intensify allowing the rain making mechanism, the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) to continue shifting northwards over Uganda,” the UNMA statement says.

Other weather systems causing the present wet conditions according to UNMA are the Congo air mass blowing towards our country and the influence of local and regional circulation systems such as large water bodies, highlands and vegetation coverage.

The weatherman says the rains will impact the agricultural sector whereby soil moisture improvement will lead to further growth of crops in areas where rainfall has been consistent and pastoral areas where the enhanced rains will lead to further improvement in foliage and pasture for livestock.

UNMA also warns of cases of lightning, flooding and landslides are still probable in most areas of the country hence contingency measures should be put in place to avoid loss of lives and property

“The expected enhanced rainfall may trigger landslides or mudslides over prone mountainous areas of Elgon, Rwenzori and Kigezi highlands among others and a high risk of water borne diseases due to occasional splash floods

The UNMA statement concludes by giving the following advisories to the general public:

  • Continue monitoring and surveillance of water resources for any impacts that might come as a result of increased water levels due to enhanced rainfall and report to nearby authorities.
  • Routine maintenance of infrastructures in flood prone areas such as road sections, bridges in such areas.
  • Continue weeding and pruning and other essential agronomical practices for crops;
  • Carry out crop monitoring and surveillance for pests and diseases and report new epidemics to nearest extension officers.
  • Disease surveillance and stocking of medicine by Health Ministry is advised to prepare for potential diseases such as cholera, malaria and cold surges such as pneumonia.
  • Water harvesting is encouraged so that enough water is stored for home and irrigation use during periods of scarcity.

 

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