Compiled By Markson Omagor
The Uganda National Meteorological Authority has released a detailed rainfall outlook for the months of March-April-May (MAM) which constitute the first major rainfall season over Uganda.
Overall, there is an increased likelihood of near normal (closer to average rainfall conditions) to above normal (wetter than usual) rainfall over several parts of the country.
The onset of seasonal rains is anticipated to be characterized by severe isolated lightning, thunder and hailstorms. The Authority further warns of landslides in Bugisu region, floods and water logging in the wetter parts of Eastern.
Ultimately people are advised against taking shelter under trees especially in lightning prone areas like Teso.
There is also high risk of malaria in wetter areas of Teso, Lake Victoria basin, Lake Kyoga basin, and lowlands adjacent to Elgon region.
Cholera is expected in Busia, Bulambuli, Karamoja sub-region and Namayingo District.
Eastern Lake Victoria and South Eastern: (Jinja, Mayuge, Kamuli, Iganga, Bugiri, Namayingo, Luuka, Namutumba, Buyende, Kaliro, Busia and Tororo) districts:
Some parts of this region have been experiencing some rains punctuated with dry spells since January 2021. The onset of the seasonal rains is expected around early to mid-March while the peak is expected around mid-April. The cessation is expected to occur around late May to early June. Overall, this region has a high chance of receiving near normal to above normal rainfall.
Central Eastern: (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 occasional rains punctuated by dry conditions in many parts since January 2021. Onset of the seasonal rains is expected around mid to Late March. The peak rains are expected around late April to Early-May with cessation expected around late May to early June. Overall, there is high chance for this region to receive near normal to above normal rains.
North Eastern Region: (Katakwi, Amuria, Moroto, Kotido, Nakapiripirit, Abim, Napak, Kapelebyong, Nabilatuk, Karenga, Amudat and Kaabong) districts:
This region has been experiencing dry conditions since January 2021. The onset of seasonal rains is expected around late March to early April which will give way to steady rains reaching the peak levels around early to mid-May. Thereafter a moderate relaxation is expected around early to mid-June. Overall, there is high chance for this region to receive near normal with slight tendency to above normal rains.
UNMA, judging from the forecast advise farmers to plant early and also put in place water harvesting facilities.
“Generally, the March to May (MAM 2021) forecast presents good prospects for improved agricultural production across the country. Farmers and other agricultural practitioners are highly encouraged to take advantage of the expected good rains to optimize food and crop production,” the forecast concludes.