TMA issues measures as poor rains loom

THE Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) on Wednesday issued various socio-economic measures to lessen effects of poor rains expected during the period of six months from next November.

Revealing the seasonal climate outlook for the period between November and April next year, the authority highlighted different measures for productive different sectors to cushion the envisaged effects.

Advisories and early warnings have been provided to various weather sensitive sectors such as agriculture and food security, livestock and fisheries, natural resources, wildlife and tourism, energy and water, transport (land, marine and aviation), local authorities, health, private and disaster management.

Presenting the report on behalf of TMA’s Director General Dr Agnes Kijazi, the Director of Forecasting Services, Dr Hamza Kabelwa said during November and December 2022, a significant deficit in soil moisture is expected to occur in many areas that receive seasonal rains and affect the growth of crops and the availability of pasture for livestock and wildlife.

Water levels in rivers and dams are expected to decrease and affect the availability of water for various uses such as irrigation and energy production.

“Authorities are advised to ensure that water sources are maintained as well as to set up water harvesting infrastructure parallel with preparing and implementing strategic plans to encourage sustainable agriculture,” he said.

During the period, the Unimodal areas are expected to experience below normal-to-normal rainfall in many areas of Kigoma, Tabora, Katavi, Singida, Dodoma, Ruvuma, Lindi and Mtwara regions.

In addition, normal to below normal rains are expected over some areas of Njombe, Rukwa, Songwe, Mbeya, Iringa and southern Morogoro regions.

In the first half of the season (November, 2022 – January, 2023) long periods of dryness are expected to emerge.

An increase in rainfall is expected in the second half of the season (February-April, 2023).

He said farmers are advised to plant early maturity crops and drought tolerant such as root and tuber, legumes and horticultural crops.

The use of sustainable farming techniques and technologies for water and soil moisture conservation including rain water harvesting and mulching are highly advisable.

Farmers and agriculture extension officers are also advised to seek information on weather updates from TMA for agricultural and cropping activities.

For the livestock and fisheries, the situation is expected to affect availability of water and pasture for livestock leading to possible conflicts between pastoralists and other land users. Furthermore, in some areas, livestock diseases (transmitted by ticks as well as flying insects) and livestock production are expected to decrease.

Livestock keepers and fishing community are advised to prepare proper plans for the use of scarcely available water and pasture resources, practicing commercial farming and livestock harvesting.

In addition, livestock keepers and fishers are advised to use weather forecast information and follow extension officer’s advisories.

However, transportation sector, including land transport, maritime and aviation are expected to benefit from the expected weather condition.

Operating cost and safety of transportations are expected to be satisfactory, however, it is advised that planning for operations and rehabilitation of infrastructures should be implemented, taking into account the daily weather forecast to specific sector and areas to reduce the possible impacts.

Decrease in water levels in rivers, reservoirs and the aquifer recharge is most likely to continue in most of the areas forecasted to experience high chances of below normal rainfall.

Water levels are expected to decrease and impair water availability for various uses.

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