Karamoja, Parts of Northern Uganda to Receive Little Rain

3127 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Festus Luboyera, the executive director of the Uganda National Meteorological Authority noted that Karamoja will also experience localized, episodic flash flood events as result of isolated heavy down pour. He said such trends are likely to disrupt economic activities.

Karamoja region and parts northern and eastern Uganda will receive less rainfall in the next three months according to March-May seasonal outlook released by Uganda National Meteorological Authority.

Bamanya Deus, the director applied meteorology, data and climate services said that all districts in Karamoja, Katakwi and Amuria in Teso and the northern Uganda districts of Lira, Alebtong, Kitgum, Agago, Otuke, Pader, Kole and Dokolo will receive below normal rainfall.

This implies that the districts will get less than 75 percent of the long term mean rainfall the regions have been receiving over the years.  Although other regions are expected to receive rainfall late February and early march, Karamoja region is expected to get rain towards the end of March through to June.

Festus Luboyera, the executive director of the Uganda National Meteorological Authority noted that Karamoja will also experience localised, episodic flash flood events as result of isolated heavy down pour. He said such trends are likely to disrupt economic activities.

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Meanwhile the South Western Uganda districts of Kisoro, Kabale, Rukungiri, Kanungu, Ntungamo, Mbarara, Isingiro, Ibanda, Bushenyi, Buhweju, Mitooma, Sheema, Rubirizi and Kasese will receive above normal (more) rainfall according to the outlook. The rains will start in late February and end in May.

Above normal rainfall mans that the total rain will be above 125 percent of the long term mean rains.  Central Uganda, parts of western, north and east will receive normal or near normal rainfall. The rainfall will start early March and end in June as Deus Bamanya explains.

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Luboyera advised farmers in areas which will receive above normal or near normal rainfalls to start securing land inputs and early land preparation which will allow timely planting.

Farmers in areas receiving below normal rainfall are advised to use March irregular rains for early land clearing and securing inputs like seeds, fertilisers and chemicals. Luboyera said the forecast is 75 percent accurate.

The announcements come at the backdrop of a long dry spell and food scarcity that was caused by late and erratic rains have greatly affected the planting season last year.

In several bi modal areas, the March to May rainy season began three weeks late and was below-average in northwestern, central, and eastern Uganda. The late onset of rains led to delayed planting, causing delayed crop development.

The areas also experienced an early cessation of rainfall in late May resulting in abnormal dryness, negatively impacting crop development. Significant crop failure was reported in the eastern districts of Katakwi, Amuria, Kumi, Serere, Soroti, and Kaberamaido.

Similarly, the second planting season, which is normally completed in October in preparation for December harvests, was delayed reducing December/January harvest prospects and lowering agricultural labour opportunities for labour-dependent households.