By Fred Kiva
KAMPALA. The Uganda National Metrological Authority (UNMA) is warning of floods and landslides in low lying and mountainous areas, as more rains are expected in most parts of the country.
“Lightning and thunderstorms are expected to occur in different areas. Landslides may occur in the mountain areas of Bududa, Bulambuli, Bundibugyo, Kasese, Kabale, Rubanda and Kisoro and floods in low lying areas and some parts of Teso such as Kapelebyong.
District authorities are advised to update their contingency plans for better coordination in case of any weather and climate disaster that might occur during this season,” a statement on the September-December 2018 seasonal rainfall outlook issued by UNMA indicates.
According to a statement signed by UNMA Executive Director, Dr Festus Luboyera, there is an increased likelihood of above normal rainfall over most parts of Uganda, while near normal rainfall is expected in most parts of Karamoja and the southern cattle corridor.
Eastern Uganda has always been prone to landslides during rainfall seasons, with worst incident happening in March 2010. About 100 residents died after being buried by falling soils and debris in the villages of Nameti, Kubewo and Nankobe in Bududa district. The landslides were triggered by a heavy downpour which lasted over seven hours on March 1.
Authorities in areas expected to receive near normal to above normal rainfall, are encouraged to guide farmers on planting of both long and short maturing crops like millet, rice, sorghum, maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, legumes, root tubers and vegetables. The farmers are also warned against planting crops in floods and landslide prone zones.
“Avoid planting crops in flood and landslide prone zones: cases of flooding and landslides may be experienced in the mountain areas such as Bududa, Bulambuli, Bundibugyo, Kasese, Kabale, Rubanda and Kisoro,” the statement warned.
Cases of Malaria and livestock diseases and vectors are also expected to increase in areas where more rains are expected.
Meanwhile, in areas expected to receive near normal to below normal rainfall, residents are advised on timely planting of improved varieties (i.e. quick maturing and drought tolerant) such as Beans (NABE 15-23 series), maize (Longe 5, 7H, 10H-11H), enhanced rain water harvesting (in-situ, roof, surface-run-off) for usage when the rains start is encouraged.