Patrick Luganda, the chairperson of the Network of Climate Journalists in the Greater Horn of Africa (NECJOGHA) told New Vision that the physical impact of Cyclone Kenneth to Uganda would be minimal.
KAMPALA - The increase in the rainfall which Uganda is experiencing in the last few days is a result of the Cyclone Kenneth that has hit several countries in the southern parts of Africa, weather experts have said.
The cyclone that pounded northern Mozambique on Friday and some areas in southern Tanzania, leaving one person dead and wrecking homes and communications, had caused concern that it would reach as far as L. Victoria in Uganda.
New Vision has learnt that both Kenya and Tanzania had issued warnings to their citizens to prepare for the cyclone. However, the Uganda Meteorological Authority did not issue any alert, leaving Ugandans guessing.
But Patrick Luganda, the chairperson of the Network of Climate Journalists in the Greater Horn of Africa (NECJOGHA) told New Vision on Saturday that the physical impact of Cyclone to Uganda would be minimal.
Luganda said the cyclone weakens as it reaches the mainland and that it could not hit as far as Uganda from the Southern part of Tanzania where it stopped. He also noted that Uganda's location to the Equator puts it in a safer zone against the cyclone.
"But there will be increased rainfall for the next three weeks as a result of the Cyclone Kenneth, which is an advantage to us since the rainy season had delayed," he said.
The World Food Programme (WFP) this week said the cyclone was expected to dump over 600 millimetres (almost 24 inches) of rain over the next few days in some areas.
Efforts to speak to officials at the Uganda Meteorological Authority on Saturday were futile.
Category three Cyclone Kenneth packed winds of 160 kilometres per hour and the United Nations had warned of flooding and landslides in affected countries.
If the Cyclone had hit Uganda, the damage to life and property would have been severe. Luganda observed that it is only in situations where early warnings are issued that destructions to property and lives can be minimised.
The Assistant Inspector General of Police, Joseph Mugisa noted recently that Ugandans stood a higher chance of dying in huge numbers in disasters like Cyclone Kenneth because "we are not prepared to respond to them."
Mugisa said in Kampala, for example, there is no single place with facilities such as toilets to handle 1000 people displaced by a disaster for a week.