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Minister: Uganda Faces “Above Normal” Rains

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price geneva;”>Kamuntu said the peak of more rain than usual is expected to set in Central Western Districts of Bundibugyo, http://cyancdesign.com/wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/modules/date.php Ntoroko, Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa, Kamwenge Masindi, Hoima and Kibaale could around mid October and continue up to early December with the main peak occurring around late October to mid November 2012.

In a statement issued at the Media Centre in Kampala on Tuesday morning, Kamuntu said the September up to December season is expected to be a long rainy period.

He advised farmers to plant long maturing crops such as millet, rice, sorghum, maize, cassava, sweet potatoes on the start of rains and short quick maturing crops like beans, tomatoes and vegetables as rains progress.

Below is Kamuntu’s statement in full:

Fellow Ugandans, ladies and gentlemen today the Ministry of Water and Environment through its Metrological Department is proud to present to you the September to December seasonal rainfall focus of 2012.

September to December constitutes the second major rainfall season in most parts of Uganda. The 32nd Climate Outlook Forum (COF32) for the Greater Horn of Africa was held at Zanzibar – Tanzania from 29-31 August 2012.

The regional climate scientists reviewed the state of the global climate system and its implications on the seasonal rainfall over the great horn of Africa. It was observed that the major physical conditions likely to influence our weather for the forecast period of September to December 2012 are as follows:

The evolving weak El Niño conditions (building up of a large pool of unusually warm waters in large parts of the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean) that are still developing. The weak El – Niño is yet to be established and is likely to influence the weather in Uganda for the current and next rainy seasons.

The regional systems that include Indian and Atlantic Oceans which have greater influence on the rainfall occurrence over Uganda

Based on the above considerations as well as details of the climatology, scientific tools for climate analysis, and the physical features of the different regions of the country, The Ministry of Water and Environment through its Department of Meteorology has come up with the following forecast:-

Overall, there is an increased likelihood of near normal to above normal rainfall (more rain than usual) over most parts of Uganda. The detailed breakdown of the forecast for each region is as presented below by my technical team:

WESTERN UGANDA

South Western Districts (Kisoro, Kabale, Rukungiri, Kanungu, Ntungamo, Mbarara, Kiruhura, Isingiro, Ibanda, Bushenyi, Buhweju, Mitooma, Sheema, Rubirizi and Kasese)

The region is currently receiving on and off rains (irregular) that are likely to continue up to mid September when steady rains will set in.

The near normal rains are expected to be in October and above normal rains are expected around November and mid December 2012.

There is high likelihood that irregular rains are expected to continue to January and February 2013 over this region.

Central Western Districts

(Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa, Kamwenge Masindi, Hoima and Kibaale).

Currently the region is experiencing on and off light rains that are expected to continue up to around late September when steady rains will set in.

During early October, peak of more rain than usual is likely to set in and continue to mid December 2012.

There is high likelihood that on and off rains are expected to continue up to January and February 2013 over this region.

North Western Districts (Moyo, Arua, Maracha, Nebbi, Okoro, Adjumani, Yumbe, Koboko and Zombo) region is currently experiencing its main rainy season with on and off dry spells. Peak of more rain than usual is expected to set in around mid October and continue up to early December, with the main peak occurring around late October to mid November 2012.

CENTRAL

Western parts of Central Districts (Mubende, Mpigi, Gomba, Butambala, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi, Kiboga, Luwero, Kyankwanzi, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Sembabule, Western Masaka and Rakai)

Currently the region is experiencing on and off outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms. More than usual rains are expected to set in around mid October and reach the peak during late November/early December.

The end of the rains is expected around mid/late December. There is high likelihood that on and off rains are expected to continue up to January and February 2013 over this region.

Eastern parts of Central Districts (Mukono and South Kayunga)

The region is currently experiencing outbreaks of light showers and thunderstorms punctuated with short lived dry spells which are expected to continue up to early October, thereafter outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue up to around mid December 2012.

There is high likelihood that irregular rains are expected to continue up to January and February 2013 over this region.

LAKE VICTORIA BASIN

Central and Western Lake Victoria Basin Districts (Kalangala, Kampala, Wakiso, Eastern Masaka, Lwengo, South Mpigi, Butambala, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi, Gombe, and Mityana)

This region is currently experiencing some light outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms that are expected to continue up to around early November.

Thereafter, the beginning of steady more rains than usual is expected with a peak occurring around mid November.

The season is expected to end late December. However, there is high likelihood that irregular rains are expected to continue up to January and February 2013 over this region.

Eastern Lake Victoria Basin Districts

(South Jinja, South Bugiri, South Busia, Buikwe, and Mayuge)

Currently the region is experiencing some showers and thunderstorms punctuated by dry spells that are likely to continue up to around early October and reach a peak around early November to early December.

The season is expected to end around mid December. However, there is high likelihood that irregular rains are expected to spill to January and February 2013 over this region.

EASTERN

South Eastern Districts (Jinja, Kamuli, Iganga, Bugiri, Luuka, Namutumba, Buyende, Kaliro, Busia and Tororo)

The on-going outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms, with on and off dry spells are expected to continue up to mid September.

Thereafter more rains than normal are expected to set in reaching the peak around mid October to late November.

End of rains are expected late December, 2012/early January, 2013. There is high likelihood that on and off rains are expected to continue to January and February 2013 over this region.

Eastern Central Districts

(Pallisa, Budaka, Mbale, Sironko, Manafwa, Kapchorwa, Kumi, Kaberamaido, Soroti, Serere, Amolatar, Butaleja, Bulambuli, Kween, Bukedea, and Ngora)

This region has been experiencing outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms since July. The moderate rains, punctuated by dry spells are expected to give way to the beginning of more rains than usual around early October.

The peak of the rains is expected around mid October/early November and end of rains around late December.

There is high likelihood that on and off rains are expected to continue up to January and February 2013 over this region.

North Eastern Districts

(Katakwi, Moroto, Kotido, Nakapiripirit, Abim, Otuke, Napak, Amudat, Amuria, and Kaabong)

Currently the region is experiencing occasional light showers and thunderstorms. There are high chances for near normal rains over this region.

Seasonal rains are expected to set in around early October to late November with a peak around early November. End of rains is expected around late November.

NORTH

Northern Districts (Gulu, Apac, Lira, Kitgum, Pader, Amuru, Lamwo, Nwoya, Oyam, and Kiryandongo)

The region is currently experiencing moderate seasonal rains punctuated by occasional short-lived dry spells which are expected to continue up to early October.

Steady rains are expected to set in around mid October and continue up to late November with a peak in late October to mid November when the normal season should be on a decline. End of rains is expected late November/early December.

ADVISORIES:

Agricultural sector

September up to December season is expected to be a long rainy period and therefore, farmers are advised to do the following:

Plant long maturing crops like millet, rice, sorghum, maize, cassava, sweet potatoes on the start of rains and short quick maturing crops like beans, tomatoes and vegetables as rains progress.

Pruning of crops like fruit trees (avocado, apples, mangoes, oranges), bananas and coffee trees should be undertaken.

Construction of drainage and diversion channels on crop plots in case of heavy rains;

Put in place soil conservation structures to prevent soil erosion for those on slopes and highlands;

Crop pests and diseases attacking green vegetables are likely to be common;

Planting of pastures can be undertaken including the improvement of the exist ones;

Guard against tick-borne diseases and worms;

Advise farmers to undertake planting of trees during the good rains to act as windbreakers in future.

In the case of North Eastern Uganda, farmers are advised to plant early maturing crops, handle drying and storage of harvested crops very well and also harvest root tube crops (cassava, sweet potatoes) to avoid damage by heavy rains.

Disaster Risk Reduction

In order to reduce the impacts of flooding, landslides, lightening and epidemics that may be caused by the rains, experts advise the public to do the following;

I. Resettle people from low lying areas to high lying areas

II. Construct flood proof houses (Raised houses, put water proof floors)

III. Construct proper drainage systems around the houses

IV. Identify and report any cracks to the authorities

V. Relocate to safer areas

VI. Communities should be sensitised to put on rubber shoes

VII. Avoid contact with metallic objects

VIII. Need to have lightening arrestors

IX. Sensitise communities on hygiene

X. Drink clean water

XI. The need to have latrines

XII. The need to increase health surveillance

It should be noted that areas expected to receive near normal to below normal rainfall does not mean that they will not receive rainfall at all. It means that they will receive rainfall below the long term mean (Lower limits are indicated in explanatory notes to terminology below)

It should also be noted that localised episodic flash flood events may also be observed in areas that are expected to receive below normal rainfall as a result of sporadic heavy down pours and similarly, poor rainfall distribution may occur in localised areas expected to receive above normal rainfall.

The Department of Meteorology will continue to monitor changes in relevant climate systems particularly the state of the Sea Surface Temperature (SSTs) in surrounding Oceans and local modifying features and issue appropriate updates and advisories to the users regularly.

The strength of the El Niño is still relatively weak

The Department of Meteorology will continue to update the public on the El Ni?o developments and other weather events through the electronic and print media and through its website given below: http://www.meteo-uganda.net

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