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March-May To get More Rains

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Prossy Nandudu 

Countries in the Greater Horn of Africa are to experience more rains in the coming March-April-May season.

This is according to the March to May 2024 seasonal weather forecast released by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) on February 21, 2024, at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala.

The forecast was released on Wednesday, at the end of a two-day Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum 66 (GHACOF 66), that has been running under the theme “Early Warning for Anticipatory Action”.

GHACOF 66 was organised jointly by IGAD’s Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of the Greater Horn of Africa and country meteorology offices and experts from member countries among other partners.

While releasing the report, ICPAC director Dr Guleid Artan said that there is a higher probability that the region will receive more rains than in the past seasons. Areas that will experience wetter conditions or more rains include Kenya, Somalia, Southern Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and North-western Tanzania.

In particular, central and western Kenya will have more rains, including boundary areas of Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, added Artan.

He added that the early onset of the rains is expected in parts of Northern Tanzania, Eastern Rwanda, Southern and Western Uganda, Western Kenya, South Western Somalia and part of central Ethiopia.

Because of the rains that have persisted from the October-November-December rainfall seasons, flooding is expected in areas prone to floods, he added.

“This calls for an urgent need for coordinated action and preparedness, to mitigate potential impacts. Let us make a commitment to leverage climate information for resilience and sustainable development across our region,” Artan said.

He added that although the food security situation will improve due to the expected more than enough rains, the negative impacts of past disasters associated with the changing weather shouldn’t be ignored.

“While the food situation might improve with the onset of MAM rains, it is important to remember the multiple challenges faced by the regions, the 2020 to 2022 drought, conflicts in Sudan and El Niño effects such as off-season rains,” he added.

According to him, the above situation has left many communities weak and susceptible to food insecurity.

Expected effects

During a panel discussion, participants warned that the coming rains will increase emergency of diseases such as Malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever, hence the need for adequate stocking of antimalarial drugs, testing kits and provision of mosquito nets; flooding is also expected and displacement of women and children due to flooding. 

On a positive note, there will be an increase in food production due to more rains to be experienced between March and April.

 

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