NewsSouthern AfricaZimbabwe braces for another drought


Posted on Thursday, 01 October 2015 11:42

Zimbabwe braces for another drought

By Nqobile Bhebhe

A Zimbabwean minister has warned that most parts of the country will receive below normal rainfall during the 205/16 season that starts this month.

The country is reeling from effects of another drought that hit most provinces last year.

Environment, Water and Climate minister Oppah Muchinguri- Kashiri made the warning after the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Climate Services Centre predicted that the region would be hit by another drought this year.

the weather patterns have changed abruptly

Muchinguri- Kashiri said Matabeleland, Midlands and Manicaland provinces would receive below normal rainfall.

She said the government had set aside $200 000 for cloud seeding in an effort to alleviate the drought.

"Government is mobilising resources for the ministry to carry out urgent national cloud seeding programme starting in November 2015 until March 2016," Muchinguri-Kashiri said.

"In other words, as for now, chances are high that our season may not get the usual rains.

"It must be pointed out that, despite the outlook, the weather patterns have changed abruptly."

According to forecasts, between October and December this year, on average the country would experience very low rainfall which would gradually increase from late December to February next year when the rains are expectedt to be within the normal range.

Zimbabwe's rainfall season normally starts in October in the southern and western areas and in November in the northern provinces.

The end of the rains is also varied, ending usually early February in the southern areas and early April in the northern provinces.

A regional outlook issued by the Sadc Climate Services Centre in August indicated that most mainland countries in the region, including Zimbabwe, would receive between normal to below normal rainfall.

Experts have since implored government to ensure that seed for drought resistant crops and short season varities is available to mitigate the effects of drought.

This week, government started distributing relief grain to families hit by severe drought in all provinces of the country.

Almost half of Zimbabwe's staple maize crop was written off last season due to poor rains.

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