FORECAST FOR RAINY SEASON FAVOURABLE FOR AGRICULTURE

Maputo – The forecast for the 2017-2018 rainy season looks favourable for Mozambican agriculture, since it does not envisage either drought or severe flooding.

Presenting the forecast to journalists in Maputo on Wednesday, Isaias Raiva, of the National Meteorological Institute (INAM), said that in the first half of the rainy season (October to December 2017) the southern and central provinces will have normal rainfall, with a tendency to above normal. But rainfall in the north of the country is forecast to be below average.

In the next three months, January to March, generally regarded as the height of the rainy season, most of the country should have good rains. For Maputo, southern Gaza and Inhambane and the northern districts of Cabo Delgado the prospect is for normal rains with a tendency to below normal. For the rest of Gaza and Inhambane, for the central provinces of Manica and Sofala, and for the northern provinces, with the exception of the far north of Cabo Delgado, normal rains are expected.

But there could be above normal rains in Tete and Zambezia, as well as in much of Sofala, Manica, and northern Gaza and Inhambane.

Raiva stressed that these forecasts are only probabilities, and will be updated every month. The INAM forecasts were presented in the wake of an August meeting of the Southern African Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF) held in Botswana.

Reacting to the forecast, the National Water Resource Management Directorate (DNGRH) said the risk of flooding is low up until December, except for the basins of the Maputo, Incomati, Mutamba and Inhanombe rivers, in the south, where the risk is moderate.

In the second half of the rainy season, according to DNGRH spokesperson Agostinho Vilanculos, the risks increase. He put the risks of flooding at between moderate and high for the Messalo and Magaruma basins in Cabo Delgado, and for the Save and Incomati rivers in the south.

But he warned that heavy rains could lead to flooding in some of the main cities, including Maputo, Matola, Beira and Quelimane, and called on the local authorities to take measures to mitigate the impact. – AIM.

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