weather forecast

Arach: Follow weather forecast report strictly

(Last Updated On: 7 September 2023)

By Sharon Orach Oyat

Kampala I Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) welcomes the weather forecast report for September – December 2023 seasonal rainfall outlook over Uganda released by the Ministry of Water and Environment and Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA).

The forecast should be strictly followed by both the government and the public as it is expected to guide the diverse day-to-day activities of the people in the country.

UPC is on record urging the government to ensure timely availability of such weather forecast reports for risk management and prevention of uncertainties of Bududa, Kasese and Lake Victoria (Boat accident) incident nature!

It’s our hope that the government will touch base in accordance with the report as opposed to just releasing it.

Uganda lying along the Equator, receives rainfall throughout the year with two pronounced rainy seasons. Previously, this was a blessing to the country’s vegetation and soils that directly ensured good food and cash crop harvests across the country which is now changing due to unfriendly environmental practices.

UPC takes note of the intervening challenges to our rainfall pattern, distribution and intensity which need close attention, study and mitigation. The threats of global climate change are equally with us as we have given them a lifeline by failure to conserve our blessed natural environment.

Mankind is busy cutting down trees and forests carelessly for mainly firewood and charcoal as well as erecting buildings and constructing factories/industries in wetlands. This is leaving our soils exposed to excesses of heavy rains that are more dangerous and life-threatening than we have witnessed in the past with floods and their associated dangers of loss of lives, damage to crops, animals, houses, and road bridges being washed away.

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There is a need to urgently step up gears for the planting of trees and reforestation with a clear-cut policy that any tree which is cut down, a new one must be planted.

UPC urges the Government and the Ministry of Energy to intensify the programme for rural electrification and make electricity cheaper and affordable as a source of energy and power. This shall alternatively reduce pressure on our trees and forest cover in both the medium and long-term which ultimately contributes to sufficient rains.

Further, mankind has developed a special appetite for constructing structures in hilly areas without following proper guidelines on land-use patterns.

Houses are just cropping up on the hills with excessive excavation of the soil, which reduces its capacity to hold together, and in the event of a storm and heavy rains, induced landslides are likely to occur.

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Farming in highlands is equally expected to be of contour ploughing or terracing which is being done in a hazardous manner leading to landslides.

The latest case is the Katonga Bridge along the Kampala – Masaka highway that collapsed and cut off communication completely.

The alternative route of Mpigi – Butambala – Gomba – Ssembabule is being used by heavy trucks and buses thus mounting a lot of pressure on the road whose design is not for such traffic while small cars are using a one-side stepped-up bridge along Katonga River.

It is just a few days that buses have been also permitted to use the same. This is indeed demanding and a reflection of all our roads across the country, especially our murram roads!

This is equally a period with enhanced waterborne diseases like cholera, dysentery and malaria. Our hygiene and sanitation levels tend to depreciate during the rainfall peaks, thus calling for much attention.

To our farmers, this period means hard work, planting more crops for both food and cash, weeding, and ensuring good harvesting processes that guarantee quality products which are a big challenge to achieve these days. This is the only way of ensuring food security in the country.

UPC calls for a multi-sectoral approach in interpreting the demands of this weather forecasting report and carrying out informed activities across the country if we are to make it a reality.

The commentator is the UPC spokesperson

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