Rain­fall sea­son de­lay fore­cast

Lesotho Times - - News - Nthatuoa Koeshe

FARM­ERS will have to ad­just their plans for this year’s crop­ping sea­son to take into con­sid­er­a­tion the ex­pected de­lay in the on­set of rains, gov­ern­ment has said.

Tieho Ma­masiane, the Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of En­ergy and Me­te­o­rol­ogy, this week told a press con­fer­ence that while the coun­try was likely to re­ceive av­er­age rains there was a like­li­hood that the on­set of the rains would be de­layed.

He said this called for a re­align­ment of farm­ing and re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties to ac­com­mo­date the ex­pected de­lays of the rains.

“Av­er­age rain­fall con­di­tions are ex­pected coun­try­wide for the pe­riod Oc­to­ber to De­cem­ber 2017 with a like­li­hood of above av­er­age rain­fall in the north­ern and east­ern parts of the coun­try dur­ing the same pe­riod,” Mr Ma­masiane said at the presser which was called to pro­vide an out­look for the rainy sea­son from Oc­to­ber 2017 to March 2018.

He said the south­ern and western parts of the coun­try were likely to re­ceive slightly be­low av­er­age rain­fall for the pe­riod Jan­uary to March 2018 with other parts of the coun­try ex­pected to re­ceive av­er­age to above av­er­age rains.

Mr Ma­masiane also said that av­er­age tem­per­a­tures were an­tic­i­pated for the pe­riod Oc­to­ber 2017 to March 2018.

“Oc­cur­rences of strong winds, light­ing, thun­der­storms and hail­storms are com­mon weather phe­nom­ena in sum­mer,” he said, adding, the ex­treme weather events would oc­cur with greater fre­quency and in­ten­sity over time.

“This calls for a bet­ter plan­ning and align­ment of pro­duc­tive eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties with the pre­vail­ing and ex­pected weather con­di­tions,” he said.

He said his min­istry would con­tin­u­ously ad­vise the na­tion on im­pend­ing weather haz­ards which posed po­ten­tial threats to so­cial wel­fare and prop­erty.

A mem­ber of the Potato Lesotho As­so­ci­a­tion, Rose The­jane, said the de­lays and prospects of wa­ter-log­ging caused by above av­er­age rain­fall in some parts of the coun­try spelt disas­ter for them.

She said wa­ter log­ging would be “a tragedy be­cause pota­toes do not need a lot of wa­ter”.

“We had rot­ten pota­toes while some did not grow last sea­son,” Mrs The­jane said.

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