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March-May rains favourable for agriculture - experts

By Gerald Tenywa

Added 3rd March 2020 05:33 PM

Generally, the March to May forecast presents good prospects for improved agricultural production across the country.

March-May rains favourable for agriculture - experts

Generally, the March to May forecast presents good prospects for improved agricultural production across the country.

WEATHER   CLIMATE   RAIN

KAMPALA - Weather experts have predicted that the March-May will be favourable for agriculture. Uganda is expected to receive near normal to slightly above normal (wetter than the average rains) rainfall.  

In the March-May weather forecast authored by Festus Luboyera, the executive director of Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA), the March-May weather forecast has been described as favourable for agriculture. 

 
"Generally, the March to May forecast presents good prospects for improved agricultural production across the country," stated Luboyera. "Farmers and other agricultural practitioners are highly encouraged to take advantage of the expected good rains to optimize food and crop production."

The forecast also advised farmers to get seed and other agro, livestock-inputs in or near agricultural, pastoralist communities, timely land preparation and early planting and expansion of farming acreages. 

They have also been advised to proper seed selection to optimize yields, water harvesting and micro-irrigation (where necessary), maximizing agroforestry, tree planting, restocking livestock farms, fish ponds and apiaries; and intensifying agricultural extension, veterinary services across all agricultural, pastoral communities.

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However, the weather forecast is also predicting floods, landslides and strong winds to hit Kampala and the mountainous areas.

Below is the weather forecast per region  

South Western: (Kisoro, Kabale, Rubanda, Rukiga, Rwampara, Kazo, Rukungiri, Kanungu, Ntungamo, Mbarara, Kiruhura, Isingiro, Ibanda, Kitagwenda, Bushenyi, Buhweju, Mitooma, Sheema, Rubirizi and Kasese) districts. 

The region has been experiencing dry conditions in most areas punctuated by unseasonal rains since January. The onset of the rains is expected around late February to early March. The peak of the rains is expected around early to mid-April and cessation around late May. Overall, the region is expected to receive above-normal rainfall (exceeding their average rainfall). 

Western Central: (Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa, Kamwenge, Kibaale, Kikuube, Bunyagabu, Kakumiro, Kagadi, Hoima, Buliisa, Masindi, Kiryandongo) districts 

The region has been experiencing isolated light showers and dry conditions since January. The onset of seasonal rains associated with isolated outbreaks of light showers and thunderstorms is expected in around early to mid-March. Thereafter, steady rains are expected to get established with the peak of the rains expected during the month of April. Cessation of the seasonal rains is expected around late May to early June. Overall, there are high chances for the region to receive near normal rains with a slight tendency to above-normal rains. 

 
Central Region and Lake Victoria Basin: (Western areas of Central region: (Nakasongola, Luwero, Kyankwanzi, Kakumiro, Kasanda, Nakaseke, Kiboga, Mubende, Sembabule, Western Masaka, Lyantonde, Kyotera and Rakai) districts 

The region has been experiencing isolated rains and some dry conditions since January. The onset of seasonal rainfall associated with occasional outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms is expected around early to mid-March. The peak of the rains is expected to occur around mid to end of April. While the Cessation of the seasonal rains is expected to occur around late May to early June. Overall, there are high chances of near-normal rainfall conditions. 

Central and Western Lake Victoria region: (Kalangala, Kampala, Wakiso, Eastern Masaka, Lwengo, Mpigi, Butambala, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi, Gomba, and Mityana) districts 

The region has been experiencing off seasonal rainfall over several areas since January. The onset of the rains associated with isolated outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms is expected to get established around early to mid-March. The peak of the rains is expected to occur around early to mid-April with cessation around late May. Overall, there are high chances for most of the areas to receive near normal with the tendency to above normal rainfall during this season. 

Eastern areas of Central region: (Mukono, Buikwe, Kayunga, Buvuma) districts

The region has been experiencing dry conditions with intermittent outbursts of showers and thunderstorms since January. The onset of the seasonal rainfall is expected around early to mid-March, and this is likely to be associated with isolated light showers and thunderstorm. The peak of the rains is expected around early to mid-April with the cessation around late May to early June. Overall, this region is expected to receive near normal rainfall with a slight tendency to above normal rainfall. 

Eastern Lake Victoria and South-Eastern: (Jinja, Mayuge, Kamuli, Iganga, Bugiri, Namayingo, Luuka, Namutumba, Buyende, Kaliro, Bugweri, Busia and Tororo) districts 

This region has been experiencing outbursts of rain punctuated by dry spells since January in some areas. The onset of the seasonal rains is expected around early to mid-March. The peak is expected around mid-April to early May. The cessation of the rains is expected around late May to early June. Overall, this region has a high chance of receiving near normal to above normal rainfall. 

Eastern Central: (Pallisa, Budaka, Kibuku, Butebo, Mbale, Sironko, Manafwa, Namisindwa, Bududa, Kapchorwa, Kumi, Kalaki, Kaberamaido, Soroti, Serere, Butaleja, Bulambuli, Kween, Bukwo, Bukedea and Ngora) districts. 

This region has been experiencing dry conditions with occasional outbursts of unseasonal rains since January. The onset of the seasonal rains is expected around mid to late March which will eventually lead to steady rain by early to mid-April. The peak of the rains is expected around Mid-May and thereafter moderate relaxation around mid-June. Overall, high chances of above-normal rains are expected to occur over this region. 

North Eastern Region: (Katakwi, Amuria, Moroto, Kotido, Nakapiripirit, Abim, Napak, Kapelebyong, Nabilatuk, Karenga, Amudat, Kalenga, and Kaabong) districts 

This region has been experiencing dry conditions characterized by isolated rains since January. Outbursts of irregular rains are expected in mid-March which will eventually lead to the onset of steady rain by late March to mid-April. The peak of the rains is expected around early to mid-May, and thereafter moderate relaxation around mid-June. Overall, there are high chances for above-normal rains to occur over this region. 

North Western: (Arua, Maracha, Moyo, Obongi, Madi Okollo, Zombo, Nebbi, Pakwach, Yumbe, Koboko, Terego and Adjumani) districts 

The region has been experiencing dry conditions with sporadic rains since January. The onset of the seasonal rains is expected around mid-March to early April with the peak of the rains at around late April to early May, followed by moderate relaxation around mid-June. Overall, there are high chances for this region to receive near normal with a slight tendency to above-normal rains.

Central Northern Parts: (Gulu, Omoro, Lamwo, Nwoya, Amuru, and Oyam) districts 

The region has been experiencing dry conditions with occasional light rains since January. The onset of the seasonal rains is expected to get established around 5 mid-March to early April with the peak of the rains expected to occur around mid-April to early May.

 Thereafter, a moderate relaxation of the rain is expected around mid-June. Overall, this region is expected to receive near normal with a slight tendency to above normal rainfalls.

Southern eastern areas of the northern region: (Amolatar, Lira, Alebtong, Pader, Otuke, Kitgum, Agago, Kole, and Dokolo) districts

The region has been experiencing dry conditions, characterized by sporadic rain since January. The onset of the rains is expected around mid-March to early April with the peak of the rains expected around mid to end of April. 

Thereafter, moderate relaxation of the rainfall is expected around mid-June. Overall, this region is expected to receive near normal with a tendency to above normal rainfall during this season.

Interventions 

• Appropriate measures should be taken to avoid loss of life and destruction of infrastructure and property. 

• For instance, Village, Sub-county and District Disaster Management committees are advised to report any emerging incidents associated with weather and climate hazards immediately to the concerned authorities and to the Office of the Prime Minister.

• The communities should be supported to de-silt the dams in Karamoja sub-region to capture and store the water flows from expected rains for use. 

• Water, Energy and Hydro-Power generation Plans for optimization of power generation and distribution should be enhanced due to the expected increased discharge of seasonal rainwater. 

• Water sources should be protected against pollution and communities should avoid consumption of contaminated water. 

• There should be de-silting drainages and other water channels to curtail flooding. 

• There is a need to increase disease surveillance due to expected upsurges of epidemics of diseases related to rainy season such as malaria, cholera, bilharzia and typhoid, respiratory diseases including asthma.

• Health authorities are therefore advised to be on the lookout and equip health units with necessary drugs. 

• Awareness on the use of mosquito nets, slashing bushes, disposing of open containers, filling up open pits, and draining stagnant water should be intensified.

 

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