Helen Kadirire 13 February 2018
HARARE – The Meteorological Services Department has warned Zimbabweans to
be vigilant and be abreast with current weather patterns as the atmosphere
is very unstable, with more rains likely to fall.
This comes as the country has been experiencing heavy rains throughout
much of last week, the Met issuing an alert of possible flooding extending
into the week.
A forecast over the weekend predicted that heavier rains would be expected
in Matabeleland North Province, Midlands Province, Harare Metropolitan
Province, all Mashonaland Provinces as well as Manicaland Province.
“The influx of moisture from Zambia coupled with the warmer daytime
temperatures should result in outbreaks of thunderstorms; heavier falls
being expected along the Zambezi Valley stretching from Victoria Falls,
through Binga to Kariba and surrounding areas. Expect scattered clouds
under warmer conditions than of late,” MSD said.
According to a forecast issued last week, rains in excess of 50
millimetres (mm) were recorded in areas such Crowborough, Concession,
Wedza, Mhondoro, Buffalo range, Honde valley and Zvishavane.
“Indications are that the rain may result in sharp downpours, damaging
winds, lightning, hail and flash flooding. Uprooting of trees and damage
to infrastructure is possible with this type of rain intensity,” read part
of the alert.
The department also warned people not to cross flooded rivers and swollen
streams where the depth is unknown and to stay indoors throughout the
duration of the heavy rains.
MSD also said warned motorists against the urge to drive on roads covered
by water as well as to be cautious when driving at night.
“In case of severe thunderstorms, if outdoors, seek shelter immediately
but DO NOT seek shelter under a tree or in isolated sheds,” they said.
The advent of the rains brought new hope for farmers after the country had
experienced a prolonged dry spell.
Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Chabikwa said that not all the
crop will be destroyed as they were at different stages.
Chabikwa added that with the rains that are coming now they hope to
salvage at least 67 percent of crop that was already planted.
“The first crop which was at the wilting stage and had been hit by the
drought will not be salvaged. That one is lost. However we still have
quite a sizeable crop which was at four weeks and below, that crop will
survive. The last crop we have had not germinated and that one will
benefit immensely from the rains. So in brief the middle and last crop
will benefit from these rains.”
“What we however wish for is that these rains at least continue until
April so that we have a good yield. We also wish that the temperatures do
not drop but remain high during the day. We were almost in disaster mode
but the rains came at the right time,” Chabikwa said.