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Weather Forecast: Short Rain Season, Disasters Expected

by Harvest Money Editor
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Farmers should start planting long-maturing crops and, later, cultivate short-maturing ones as the rain season progresses this and the next month, according to the seasonal weather forecast.

“The general forecast for the current season of September, October, November and December 2022, indicates a high likelihood of near normal (average) to below average (suppressed) rainfall over most parts of Uganda.

“September and October are expected to be wetter than November and December,” the Minister of Water and Environment, Sam Cheptoris, said.

This was contained in a speech delivered by Alfred Okot Okidi, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water and Environment, during the closing of a two-day National Climate Outlook Forum at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe last week.

The seasonal weather forecast warns that disasters are expected in the mountainous and the low- lying areas.

“Episodic flash floods might be experienced in some areas leading to loss of lives and destruction of property,” Cheptoris stated.

He added: “Other disasters may arise from possible landslides, mostly in the mountainous areas of western, south-western and eastern Uganda. These include Bundibugyo, Kasese, Kabale, Rubanda, Kisoro, Bududa, Mbale, Bulambuli and other regions around Mt. Elgon, as well as strong and gusty winds and lightning.”

Okidi highlighted that Uganda’s economy is dependent on rain-fed agriculture.

He noted that extreme climate events such as floods, prolonged dry spells and drought are becoming more frequent, a trend which requires Ugandans to be more prepared to avert such adverse effects.

Uganda experiences two rainfall seasons of March, April and May and September, October, November and December. However, areas of northern and some parts of eastern Uganda experience substantial rainfall during June, July and August.

Implications

The near normal (average) to below normal (below average) rainfall predicted for September to December this year — rainfall season over most parts of the country — is expected to be characterised by dry spells.

“This implies that there are high chances for socio- economic activities to continue normally in areas where near normal (average/ adequate) rainfall is expected while areas of rainfall deficiency (those with below normal/average rainfall), the activities are likely to be stressed,” Okidi said.

“The level of stress is expected to increase with increasing rainfall deficiency.” disaster measures Okidi said resettlement of people in the high-lying and low-lying areas should be undertaken to avert disasters.

The population should construct drainages around houses. People are also advised to report any cracks in mountainous areas.

Suggested remedies

The farmers are advised to plant long-maturing crops, such as millet, rice, sorghum, maize, cassava and sweet potatoes, on the start of rains, and short-maturing crops (beans, tomatoes and vegetables) later on as the rain progresses.

The ministry also advises farmers to prune crops, such as fruit trees like avocado, apples, mangoes, oranges, bananas and coffee.

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