Windhoek-Most Namibian farmers can prepare themselves for normal to above normal rainfall in November and December, and January and February 2018.
However, they are urged not to oversell food in case the 2017/18 season does not perform well and also put in place contingency plans such as water harvesting for irrigation and climate smart agriculture, among others.
The forecast for the 2017 cropping season in southern Africa indicates that most parts of the region can expect adequate rainfall after successive years of debilitating droughts.
In November to December most of the region is expected to receive “normal to above normal” rainfall, and this is expected to continue in most parts in January to March 2018, according to the 20th Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF-20).
However, the northern part of the region can expect “normal to below normal” rainfall at the beginning and end of this period, comprising northernmost Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), northern Angola, most of Tanzania, northern Mozambique, the island states of Seychelles and eastern Madagascar. November to January may see a reduction in rainfall in some parts of the region, including Namibia, western Botswana, eastern DRC, northern Mozambique, western Zambia and southern Tanzania. During this period the region often experiences a dry spell.
During January to March 2017, the rainfall will decrease in the northern part of the region, as well as the southern parts of Zimbabwe and Mozambique, eastern Botswana, northern and central South Africa.
The statement from climate scientists says they “took into account oceanic and atmospheric factors that influence our climate over the SADC region. In particular, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is foreseen to be shifting from the warm, through neutral to cold phase, also referred to as La Niña, during the bulk of the rainfall season.”
In southern Africa, an El Niño event is characterised by drought while La Niña is associated with wet conditions and floods. While increased soil moisture is expected to improve crop productivity, there is a risk of flooding that could destroy crops and impact on food security. Damage to infrastructure is possible. Increased incidences of malaria and waterborne diseases are often associated with a higher rainfall. Governments in the region should take proactive measures to prepare for the change in the rainfall patterns and its impact on livelihoods and economic sectors.
For the period December 2017 to January and February 2018, increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall are predicted for most of Namibia, while increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall are expected in the south-western fringe of Namibia.
Looking good… Namibia is bound to get its fair share of rain in December 2017 and in January and February next year as can be seen from this latest forecast of the SADC Climate Outlook Forum.
New Era Reporter
2017-11-07 09:35:30 | 2 years ago