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Below-average rainfall expected across the country until May

Below-average rainfall expected across the country until May

Staff Reporter

BELOW-AVERAGE rainfall is expected in most parts of the country until May. This was highlighted by the Agriculture Ministry’s Crop Prospects, Food Security, and Drought Situation Report, which cited the Namibia Meteorological Services’ rainfall predictions.

According to these predictions, the /Kharas, Hardap, western Erongo, and extreme western Kunene regions are likely to receive less than 40 millimetres (mm) of rainfall until May, while other areas might experience rainfall exceeding 60mm. Conversely, the report indicated, the Zambezi Region is expected to have normal rainfall for this period.

“The rainfall prediction for March to May 2024 indicates below-normal rainfall conditions over the bulk of the country. Therefore, the current situation is likely to worsen in the next few months. With regards to crop pests, the outbreak of African Migratory Red Locust in the Zambezi region is worrisome as it significantly contributed to the already poor expected harvest,” the report reads.

Despite the bleak predictions for future rainfall, the report highlighted that the overall performance of the 2023-2024 Rainfall Season was not entirely discouraging.

“The onset of the 2023/2024 rainfall season started earlier compared to the previous season, with light to moderate showers. As the season advanced, there was a notable improvement in rainfall, particularly during December and January in the north-central part of the country,” the report explained.

However, the report highlighted that the Zambezi and Kavango regions saw delayed rainfall, which affected the commencement of ploughing activities.

“Rainfall performance since the beginning of the season up to March 2024 shows mostly below-normal rainfall performance for the country, with severe drier conditions in the southern areas. According to the Namibia Meteorological Service (NMS) climate watch bulletin, April 2024, almost the entire country reported rainfall of 90mm and below, apart from Otavi and Okondjatu in the Otjozondjupa region, which recorded a significant amount of rainfall during March,” the report added.

The report also identified Outapi in the Omusati Region, Eenhana in the Ohangwena Region, and King Kauluma in Oshikoto Region as some of the places that saw above-normal rainfall between October 2023 and March 2024, while Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi Region, Rundu in the Kavango East Region, Mpungu in the Kavango West Region, and Gibeon in the Hardap Region were highlighted as some of the places that saw below-average rainfall during this period.

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