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Lillian Nkwenge, the Spokesperson Uganda National Meteorological Authority, says farmers should move to raised lands to prevent their crops being swept away by floods as has been experienced in some districts.
Residents of Kitgum District Wade Through A Flooded Road

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Uganda National Meteorological Authority-UNMA has cautioned farmers against planting crops in low lying areas as the country experiences above normal rainfall.    

The authority says the onset of the September to December rainfall season has unusually been characterized by violent weather conditions such as floods, rivers bursting their banks, landslides and thunderstorms.   

Lillian Nkwenge, the Spokesperson Uganda National Meteorological Authority, says farmers should move to raised lands to prevent their crops being swept away by floods as has been experienced in some districts.       

//Cue in: “People should grow….     

Cue out: “….alternative ways of farming”//    

  

The northern Uganda flank has had sustained rainfall since April when the first season set in. On Monday, overnight flash floods struck Kitgum district hard after Auc Stream, a major tributary of River Pager burst its bank. The floods blocked residents and school children in Labongo Okidi sub County from accesing Kitgum Municipality.  

 

Richard Okello, a peasant farmer in Okidi Parish in Labongo Amida Sub County, says residents stayed home waiting for the floods, which lasted more than eight hours to recede. He says farmers who are harvesting their beans have an uphill task to dry them because of heavy rains daily.

  //Cue in: “Kot Ocako cwer lawor….     

Cue out: “….peromo kato pii eni”//       

Okello says although life was not lost in the flooding, the water submerged many crops fields triggering fear for their cassava, simsim and beans fields.  

  

In Omoro district in West Acholi, farmers have been forced to start harvesting beans prematurely to prevent them from rotting in the field. Augustine Oyat, a resident of ongako Sub County in Tochi County, says they can no longer wait for the full field to dry.  

  He says some farmers are collecting dry beans midst of other premature beans to save their crops from decomposition.  Oyat says they expect to lose a lot of crops to bad roads as bridges and roads are inundated by the heavy rains. The dilemma is being shared by farmers in Bunyoro sub region who are still struggling to dry their Maize grains amidst limited sunlight.  

Michael Adubango Mugisa, the Manager of Nyamahasa United Area Cooperative Enterprises Limited in Kiryandongo district, says farmers have failed to bring their produce for bulking in their warehouse due to too much moisture content in the grains.     

Mugisa says they have advised farmers to dry their grains in their homes due to limited space for drying at the warehouse built by the National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS) in collaboration with United Nations Food Agency, the World Food Programme (WFP).    

He says rainfall has assumed a new pattern in the region with adverse cycles repeating themselves every two or four years.

//Cue in: “After every three…..     

Cue out: “….a lot of rains coming”//     

Uganda Red Cross Society says Bulambuli, Butaleja, Bududa, Manafwa, Namisindwa, Mbale, Sironko, Amuru, Kasese, Nakapiripirit, Otuke and Budibugyo districts have experienced devastating incidents of floods, which have affected many households. 

The Society says it is preparing to respond to other emerging disasters that they project will affect 1,000 households with at least 5,000 people. Robert Kwesiga, the Secretary General of Uganda Red Cross Society, says they project the response plan will cost them Shillings 1.66 Billion based on the seasonal forecast of Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA).    

The forecast warned that lightning, thunderstorms, floods and landslides will prevail over most parts of the country disrupting livelihoods, economic activities and displacing many.  Lillian Nkwenge, the Spokesperson Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA), says they believe the adverse weather conditions, which characterized the onset of the season will persist through to the end of the season in December.   

//Cue in: “We are seeing more rains….       

Cue out: “….happened in Budibugyo”//       

Nkwenge says the season is synonymous with the 2012 and 2015 rainfall year received in the horn of Africa region. According to various reports, the cost of African adaptation to Climate Change has jumped to nine percent of the continent’s gross domestic product over the last few years. 

They say there is more benefits to mitigating climate change than waiting to respond to climate change related disasters.