Masika rains to ease current hotness–TMA

DAR ES SALAAM: THE current hot conditions experienced in several parts of the country are expected to lessen from late this month, with the beginning of the Masika rainfall season, as forecasted by the Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA).

Issuing the seasonal climate outlook for MarchMay 2024 on Thursday in Dar es Salaam, TMA’s Acting Director General, Dr Ladislaus Chang’a, stated that the rains, expected to start from the third and fourth week of this month until May, will be normal to above normal.

The rainfall will impact the bimodal regions of Dar es Salaam, Coast, Tanga, Morogoro, Unguja, Pemba, as well as the Lake Zone regions of Mwanza, Geita, Mara, Kagera, Shinyanga, Simiyu and Kigoma.

“From the fourth week of this month, we expect that rains will start in some areas, thus reducing the current heat. Meteorologically, high temperatures are often followed by heavy rainfall,” Dr Chang’a explained.

Highlighting the expected impacts, he mentioned that periods of excessive soil moisture may affect crop and agricultural activities, leading to an increase in diseases such as fungus affecting crops like tomatoes, sesame, beans, and root crops.

“However, normal agricultural practices are expected over most areas,” he added.

Therefore, the authority advised farmers to prepare their fields, plant, implement weeding and use relevant farm inputs timely. They are further advised to use the best methods and technologies to prevent water stagnation in the field, erosion, and loss of soil fertility.

Farmers should also choose the right seeds and crops for this Masika season. Additionally, it is recommended to strengthen agricultural infrastructure, particularly in low-lying areas, and control crop pests and diseases timely to reduce potential impacts.

Regarding livestock and fishery, livestock keepers and fishers are likely to benefit from the availability of pasture and food for fish.

However, outbreaks of livestock diseases such as Rift Valley Fever and breeding of vectorborne insects may occur. Livestock keepers are advised to practice good animal husbandry to conserve pasture and harvest rainwater for future use. Dr Chang’a also noted that periods of heavy rains may cause water stagnation and floods, resulting in damage to infrastructure, loss of lives, and properties.

“Local authorities and emergency responders are advised to take precautionary measures to handle potential flood-related emergencies, including search and rescue operations and medical assistance.

On the other hand, the private sector is expected to benefit from the rains in this season, especially in largescale agricultural activities and industrial production. The private sector is advised to work with various experts, including meteorologists, to mitigate potential impacts.

Various institutions, including banking and insurance, are advised to prepare and provide specific services to stakeholders to build resilience in business.

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