Tanzania: TMA Issues March-May Rains Alert

THE Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) has issued a seasonal rainfall outlook for March to May, this year with normal rains expected over most parts of bimodal areas.

It, however, warned that there will be short periods of heavy rains which may be associated with flooding leading to destruction of infrastructures, disruption of socio-economic activities, loss of lives and properties.

TMA Acting Director General Dr Hamza Kabelwa told journalists in Dar es Salaam on Thursday that Masika rains are likely to be normal to above normal over most areas of Arusha, Manyara, Kilimanjaro, Kagera, Geita, Mwanza, Shinyanga, Simiyu, Mara and northern part of Kigoma region (Kakonko and Kibondo districts).

Dr Kabelwa, who is also Director of Forecasting Services, noted that the northern part of Morogoro region, Coast (including Mafia Island), Dar es Salaam and Tanga regions, Unguja and Pemba isles were likely to receive normal to below normal rains.

"The Masika rain season is likely to be characterized by periods of enhanced rainfall during March," he said.

He said the seasonal rains are expected to be normal to above normal over most parts of the Lake Victoria basin and northern part of Kigoma noting that the rains are expected to start during the first week of March, 2021 and cease during the fourth week of May, 2021.

Dr Kabelwa noted that most areas of the northern coast are expected to experience normal to below normal beginning in the fourth week of February, 2021 and cessation is expected in the third week of May, 2021.

In North-eastern highlands, he said, the rains are expected to be normal to above normal over most areas and anticipated to start early in the fourth week of February, 2021 and cessation is expected in the third week of May, 2021.

TMA, however, issued advisories and early warnings to various weather sensitive areas and authorities so that they can prepare for likely impacts.

The agency advised the public to improve agricultural infrastructure to minimize the impacts that may occur where frequent heavy rainfall is likely and advise farmers to seek more information including professional advice from agriculture extension officers in their localities.

He said livestock diseases associated with seasonal rains may occur thus, livestock keepers were advised to practice good animal husbandry, harvest rainwater and pasture for future use and also seek more information including professional advice from livestock extension officers in their localities.

Dr Kabelwa, however, noted that transport infrastructure can be affected especially over the areas expected to receive normal to above normal rainfall thus relevant authorities were advised to improve transport infrastructure and take precautions on the expected weather condition.

The TMA also advised disaster management authorities and committees to take necessary mitigation measures against negative impacts that may result from heavy rains.

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