Dar es Salaam – Tanzania faces a significant change in its weather patterns as the Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) forecasts above-normal rainfall for 14 regions across the country during the upcoming rainy season, potentially causing flooding and crop damage.
According to NAM News Network, the expected increase in precipitation is slated to commence in November of this year and persist until April 2024. The regions anticipated to be most affected span across the country, including the southern zones of Morogoro, Iringa, Lindi, Singida, and Dodoma; northern territories of Kigoma, Rukwa, and Tabora; along with Njombe, Songwe, Rukwa, Mbeya, and northern Katavi.
Joyce Makwata, a Weather Expert at the TMA, stated that the initial half of the rainy season, stretching from November to January, could bring more rainfall compared to the period from February to April. She pointed out that the El-Nino weather phenomenon is likely to influence the seasonal downpour.
Makwata further explained that while varied regions have endured different rainfall distributions, some areas, including Tanga, Unguja, and Pemba islands, have already seen considerable rain accumulations, reaching up to 50 millimeters, leading to damages.
Dr. Ladislaus Chang’a, TMA’s Acting Director General, emphasized the expected repercussions on agriculture, noting that while the season is conducive for farming activities, there could be significant periods of excessive soil moisture and floods, which are detrimental to crops and farming operations.
He remarked that the TMA is working closely with experts from multiple sectors to guide farmers on preparatory measures for their fields and the timely use of farming inputs. They are also encouraged to adopt methods and technologies that mitigate water stagnation, soil erosion, and fertility degradation.
Dr. Chang’a also addressed the livestock and fisheries sectors, mentioning that they stand to benefit from the abundance of pasture, water, and aquatic food sources. He advised good animal husbandry practices, including pasture conservation and rainwater harvesting.
Furthermore, pastoralists and fishers are urged to stay updated with weather forecasts and heed advice from extension officers to reduce adverse impacts and maximize the potential benefits of the expected favorable conditions.
The TMA’s guidance extends to the tourism sector, where authorities are advised to enhance infrastructure within wildlife reserves and alert communities to take necessary precautions against wildlife encroachment.
Local authorities have received recommendations to bolster drainage systems to mitigate flood impacts and to educate communities on response strategies, reinforcing disaster committees at the village and district levels for effective impact management.