THE tally for Ondangwa stood at 11 millimetres when rain meters were emptied out this morning, in anticipation of more rains that might fall in the bone dry central north today.
Reports of downpours, albeit only light showers and accompanied by thunder were reported over large parts of the country, with promises of more to come in the next few days.
Although exact numbers are hard to come by and showers were light in general, the smell of petricor had everybody mesmerised since Saturday when the first downpours of 2019 rainy season were reported on Facebook as if this spells the end of the drought, that all but wiped out farming in Namibia.
No flowing streams or rivers was reported, only dust wetting streams from heaven that resulted in an outcry of thanks to God and the great Kalunga (rain and God in the Oshiwambo languages).
The weather started building from the very north around Ruacana late on Friday and then at last, Saturday brought news of showers from far and wide. First reports came from the east and a warning of showers on the main route between Windhoek and Hosea Kutako International Airport.
Then followed Ondangwa and reports from as far as Aranos but there is no single spot in Namibia that needs rains more than any other place, so farmers and city dwellers started celebrating and asked for more and also for their fellow Namibians, who struggle equally, as well.
On Sunday afternoon, Otjiwarongo reported light rains, as well as farms along the so-called “floors” on farms like Okonjima and Omaha just west of the Omatako’s and adjacent to Mount Etjo and Erindi.
It seems the cloud cover over Namibia stretched in a broad swath from northwest to south east.
According to a communication received from a public source in Botswana, wet weather and storms might occur over our neighbour’s land for most of next week. That rains might reach as far as the Eastern Caprivi, where dire conditions still prevail.
Reports from truck drivers visiting neighbouring Angola and Zambia, also reported the coming of the season this weekend. They confirmed dire conditions in those countries and say even as the new season is approaching, farmers are moving their cattle into the more northern provinces of both Angola and Zambia, where grazing is still to be found.
From Rundu, via Divundu and Kongola up to Zambezi, the rivers are critically low, with a relentless attack on the fish resources that are concentrated in pools. A number of efforts were already launched to save game and cattle in the Ngami Lake area and along the perinnial lakes and pans that form part of, amongst others, the Kavango Delta. Good rains on the Angola highlands around Kuito Bié, can mitigate that dilemma.
However good or wanting, October 5, 2019, will be recorded as the day the rains first came to Namibia after a long dry season.