The first planting season in Uganda is around the corner as witnessed by the ongoing preparations of fields. However, the big questions are; when is the rainy season setting in?
Will Uganda receive enough rains? This is due to the fact that the previous two seasons have been witnessed by minimal rains, resulting into unprecedented crop failure.
According to the latest weather report for the months of March, April and May released by the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA), western parts will receive high rainfall (above normal), while Central, Lake Victoria basin, Southern and Northern Uganda will receive normal rainfall.
However, Karamoja region, parts of Lango and Acholi are expected to receive below normal rainfall. The weather report was released by UNMA Executive Director, Festus Luboyera on Friday February 17, 2017 at Uganda Media Centre. Below are the details of the report;
The Lake Victoria basin and Central districts including Luweero, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Kiboga, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Sembabule, Masaka and Rakai are expected to have the onset of rains come mid-March. The said areas are expected to have near normal rainfall.
South Western districts including Kabale, Kisoro, Rukungiri, Kanungu, Ntungamo, Mbarara, Isingiro, Ibanda, Bushenyi, Buhweju, Mitooma, Sheema, Rubirizi and Kasese are exoected to have the onset of rains late February and early March. These districts are expected to have above normal rainfall during this season.
The districts of Kabarole, Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Kyenjonjo, Kyegegwa, Kamwenge, Greater Kibaale (Kibaale, Kagadi and Kakumiro districts), Hoima, Buliisa and Masindi are expected to get rains in mid to late March.
These are expected to have near normal rains with slight tendency to above normal. Like many parts of Uganda, the Western region has experienced the dry spell since December.
Eastern districts of Jinja, Mayuge, Kamuli, Iganga, Bugiri, Namayingo, Namutumba, Luuka, Kaliro, Busia and Tororo areexpected to have onset of rains around early to mid-March, with the peal expected around mid-April through early May. These districts have high chances of receiving near normal rainfall.
For districts including Pallisa, Budaka, Kibuku, Mbale, Sironko, Manafwa, Bududa, Kapchorwa, Kumi, Kaberamaido, Soroti, Serere, Amolotar, Butaleja, Bulambuli, Kween, Bukwo, Bukedea and Ngora, the rainy season is expected to set in around mid-March and these districts are expected to have near normal rainfall.
The districts of Moroto, Katakwi, Kotido, Nakapiripirit, Abim, Napak, Amudat, Amuria and Kabong are expected to have irregular light rains in late March. A prolonged dry spell is expected until mid-April when steady rains are expected to set in.
Northern districts of Lira, Kitgum, Alebtong, Agago, Otuke, Pader, Kole and Dokolo are expected to have onset of normal seasonal rainfall around early to mid-April.
A moderate relaxation of rains is expected around mid-June, but overall, near normal rainfall with a tendency to below normal is expected during this season.
For Gulu, Apac, Lamwo, Nwoya, Amuru, Oyam and Kiryandongo, the rainy season is expected to set in in mid/late March.
For Moyo, Arua, Maracha, Nebbi, Adjumani, Yumbe, Koboko, Terego and Zombo, onset of rainfall is expected in late March to early April. Generally, the Northern region is expected to have near normal to above normal rainfall. Farmers are encouraged to plant long maturing crops at the onset of rains.