Lillian Nkwenge, the Spokesperson Uganda National Meteorological Authority, says farmers should move to raised lands to prevent their crops being swept away by floods as has been experienced in some districts.
Uganda National Meteorological Authority-UNMA
has cautioned farmers against planting crops in low lying areas as the country
experiences above normal rainfall.
The authority says the onset of the September to
December rainfall season has unusually been characterized by violent weather
conditions such as floods, rivers bursting their banks, landslides and
Lillian Nkwenge, the Spokesperson Uganda
National Meteorological Authority, says farmers should move to raised lands to
prevent their crops being swept away by floods as has been experienced in some
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The northern Uganda flank has had sustained
rainfall since April when the first season set in. On Monday, overnight flash
floods struck Kitgum district hard after Auc Stream, a major tributary of River
Pager burst its bank. The floods blocked residents and school children in
Labongo Okidi sub County from accesing Kitgum Municipality.
Richard Okello, a peasant farmer in Okidi Parish
in Labongo Amida Sub County, says residents stayed home waiting for the floods,
which lasted more than eight hours to recede. He says farmers who are
harvesting their beans have an uphill task to dry them because of heavy rains
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Okello says although life was not lost in the
flooding, the water submerged many crops fields triggering fear for their
cassava, simsim and beans fields.
In Omoro district in West Acholi, farmers have
been forced to start harvesting beans prematurely to prevent them from rotting
in the field. Augustine Oyat, a resident of ongako Sub County in Tochi County,
says they can no longer wait for the full field to dry.
He says some farmers are collecting dry beans midst
of other premature beans to save their crops from decomposition. Oyat
says they expect to lose a lot of crops to bad roads as bridges and roads are
inundated by the heavy rains. The dilemma is being shared by farmers in
Bunyoro sub region who are still struggling to dry their Maize grains amidst limited
Michael Adubango Mugisa, the Manager of Nyamahasa United Area
Cooperative Enterprises Limited in Kiryandongo district, says farmers have
failed to bring their produce for bulking in their warehouse due to too much
moisture content in the grains.
Mugisa says they have advised farmers to dry
their grains in their homes due to limited space for drying at the warehouse
built by the National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS) in collaboration
with United Nations Food Agency, the World Food Programme (WFP).
He says rainfall has assumed a new pattern in
the region with adverse cycles repeating themselves every two or four years.
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Uganda Red Cross Society says Bulambuli,
Butaleja, Bududa, Manafwa, Namisindwa, Mbale, Sironko, Amuru, Kasese,
Nakapiripirit, Otuke and Budibugyo districts have experienced devastating
incidents of floods, which have affected many households.
The Society says it is preparing to respond to
other emerging disasters that they project will affect 1,000 households with at
least 5,000 people. Robert Kwesiga, the Secretary General of Uganda Red Cross
Society, says they project the response plan will cost them Shillings 1.66
Billion based on the seasonal forecast of Uganda National Meteorological
The forecast warned that lightning,
thunderstorms, floods and landslides will prevail over most parts of the
country disrupting livelihoods, economic activities and displacing many. Lillian Nkwenge, the Spokesperson Uganda
National Meteorological Authority (UNMA), says they believe the adverse weather
conditions, which characterized the onset of the season will persist through to
the end of the season in December.
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Nkwenge says the season is synonymous with the
2012 and 2015 rainfall year received in the horn of Africa region. According to
various reports, the cost of African adaptation to Climate Change has jumped to
nine percent of the continent’s gross domestic product over the last few years.
They say there is more benefits to mitigating climate change than waiting to
respond to climate change related disasters.