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More Rains Offer Hope For Pasture Renewal Water Harvesting

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By Gerald Tenywa

Farmers and livestock herders particularly in the cattle corridor should brace themselves for better times as the current rain is likely to persist for the coming 10 days.

“Water and pasture conditions are expected to improve in most areas in the southern and central cattle corridor (from northeastern Uganda across central Uganda to Ntungamo).”

In addition, the population is being advised to harvest rainwater, which can be used for small-scale irrigation during the coming dry season that is expected in the coming three months.

“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) to avoid a water crisis during dry conditions.”

This is contained in the rainfall forecast for the last 10 days of November 21 to 30 sent to New Vision by the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA).

“Construct drainage channels around the homesteads and gardens to provide an easy passage for running water,” UNMA stated.

UNMA’s rainfall forecast for the rest of November is depicting that significant rainfall is expected to continue in most areas in southwestern Uganda, Rwenzori areas, Bunyoro and central Uganda.

Southwestern Uganda namely Kigezi and Ankole sub-regions have been named among the parts of the country that will receive more rain.

Others are the Rwenzori sub-region, Bunyoro sub-region and the central region (areas near Lake Victoria).

However, a reduction is expected to occur in northeastern Uganda covering the Karamoja sub-region and in all the districts bordering it.

As the rain pours on the districts of Karamoja, the country should also expect water-related disasters, such as floods and landslides, as well as mudslides in western Uganda including parts of Rwenzori.

“As the rainfall forecast shows a continuation of more rainfall activity in several areas in southwestern, Rwenzori sub-region and central-western,” stated the weather report.

“There is still a potential threat of flooding and mudslides occuring in such areas given the fact that the soils are already saturated.”

Temperature

For temperature extremes, the forecast is indicating the persistence of warmer to much hotter conditions in the northern part of the country, especially in the West Nile, Acholi and Lango sub-regions than the rest of the country.

This is similar to the past two weather forecasts released within the last three weeks of November.

The maximum temperatures are expected to lie in the range of 28 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius.

The lowest temperatures of up to 8 degrees Celsius are forecast to occur over the much more mountainous areas in the highlands of Rwenzori and Elgon.

The majority of the areas in the southern cattle corridor, central and south of Lake Kyoga are expected to experience minimum temperatures between 14 degrees Celsius and 18 degrees Celsius.

Much higher mean daily temperatures ranging from 20 degrees Celsius to 26 degrees Celsius or more, are expected in West Nile, Acholi, Lake Kyoga basin and Karamoja sub-region.

Further advisories

Spraying activities on vegetables, annual crops and tree crops involving the use of chemicals in southwestern Uganda, Kasese, Toro Bunyoro and central, where surface runoff is expected to be substantial due to persistent rains should be discouraged to avoid contamination of water sources and fish ponds with harmful chemicals.

Drying harvested crops will be challenging during this period because of wet spells and those intending to do so should be very careful.

“Drying can only be undertaken strictly on clean hard surfaces or tarpaulins to avoid comprising on quality,” stated UNMA’s weather forecast.

The top authority on weather also pointed out that pruning of tree crops and mulching should be undertaken to conserve moisture in southwestern, central western and highlands of the Rwenzori.

UNMA advises the people to monitor and report any emergence of crop pests, animal parasites and plant diseases to technical staff at the sub-county and district.

The chances of water contamination are high during the rainy season.

“Communities are encouraged to drink safe water to avoid water-related diseases,” UNMA’s rainfall forecast stated.

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