Andrew S.K. Kaggwa, NECJOGHA
The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) has predicted the reduction of rainfall in several parts of the country and advised farmers in areas still receiving rainfall to harvest water to use to irrigate their crops in the coming dry season.
“The rainfall forecast for this period shows a relaxation and reduction of rainfall activity in the entire northern (West Nile, Acholi, Lango and Karamoja sub regions), eastern including central in the immediate proximity of Lake Victoria,” the November 1 -November 10th dekadal (10-day forecast) from UNMA reads in part.
However, UNMA says that some parts of the country are to continue receiving rain.
“In contrast, the areas in southwestern (Kigezi and Ankole subregion) and central western (Toro and Bunyoro subregions) are expected to experience wet conditions during the first ten days of this month. Overall, southwestern is expected to be wetter than the rest of the country,” says the dekadal.
On the temperature forecast for the 10-day period, UNMA says that t the portion of the country stretching from Busia district, through central up to Lake Albert and extending up to northern is expected to be warm but with much warmer conditions in West Nile and Acholi subregions. The latter is expected to experience maximum temperatures ranging from 30°C to 32°C.
“The lowest temperatures of up to 8°C are forecast to occur over the much higher areas in the highlands of Rwenzori and Elgon while Kigezi sub region and central western, as well as some areas in central and Karamoja are expected to experience minimum temperatures in the range 16°C to 20°C,” the temperature forecast says.
Potential impacts of Dekadal rainfall forecast
UNMA conclude by summarizing the potential impacts of the dekadal which include:
• The forecast is depicting a reduction of rainfall activity in West Nile, Acholi, Lango, Karamoja sub regions and eastern parts of the country. This is a potential indicator for the onset of dry spells.
• Cattle corridor is expected to become water stressed over time which is likely to affect the quality and quantity of pasture.
• Fish ponds are expected to experience a reduction in water levels in all areas where rainfall activity is relaxing as it gives way to dry conditions.
UNMA also gave the following advisories:
• The communities in the entire cattle corridor, northern and eastern are advised to put in place water storage facilities for immediate harvesting of water (or rainwater) for future use in order to avert devastating effects of prolonged dry spells.
• Those expecting to harvest should adhere to good post-harvest handling practices. For instance, drying on clean hard surfaces or use facilities like polythene papers and tarpaulin to avoid comprising on quality.
• Pruning of tree crops and mulching should be undertaken to conserve moisture in south western, central western and in highlands of the Rwenzori
• Monitor and report any emergence of crop pests, animal parasites and plant diseases to technical staff at subcounty and district.
• Bush burning should not be undertaken as fire can ravage vegetation, trees, homesteads and property.
• Drinking water should be boiled for safety of life