Senior Agriculture Reporter
The country experienced thunderstorms and light rains in some areas yesterday and most people in the Central Business District of Harare were caught unawares.
The Meteorological Services Department said notable rainfall received this morning at meteorological stations are Masvingo (6mm) and Zvishavane (4mm).
The department said a westerly cloud band which was affecting most parts of the country resulted in scattered thunderstorms and rain across the country yesterday.
“The cloud band has drifted eastwards of the country; meanwhile, pressure is rising on the South East coast of Southern Africa.
Today, it is expected to be cloudy and windy with cool morning conditions accompanied by light drizzle in areas such as Matabeleland South, Masvingo, Midlands, Manicaland and Mashonaland East Provinces.
“Areas such as Harare Metropolitan, Bulawayo Metropolitan and Matabeleland North, Mashonaland West and Central should be under brief cloudy and windy conditions. It should be cool at first, becoming warm by the afternoon. An odd shower remains probable,” said MSD. High temperatures may cause dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Vulnerable members of society (children, the elderly or ill) are particularly susceptible as well as those engaged in outdoor work or activity.
The public has ben urged to keep hydrated during the day by drinking adequate amounts of water.
“Constantly follow the weather updates on the official platform in the footer of this page.
“Persons in Malaria prone areas should take necessary precautions (insecticides spraying, applying mosquito repellents, sleeping under mosquito nets),” said the MSD.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has urged all local authorities to ensure storm drains are cleared of waste as this reduces flash flooding in urban areas during periods of high rainfall.
EMA education and publicity manager Ms Amkela Sidange said proliferation of waste dumps creates favourable breeding ground for disease-causing vectors resulting in diseases such as Cholera, Typhoid and Malaria.
“Hence the call for local authorities to go all systems out in prioritising the integrity of the environment; and health of the public and avoid unnecessary loss of lives and health care costs.
“EMA has already started serving local authorities with Environmental Protection Orders to remind them to clear storm drains in readiness for the rainy season and to promote proper waste management.
“With the approaching rainy season, farmers are now preparing land for farming, and the agency is calling upon farmers to desist from opening land for farming using fires since it’s still dry and this can cause veld fires when these fires go out of control,” she said.
She also discouraged farmers from practising stream bank cultivation and to urged farmers to desist from wetland cultivation as this results in the destruction of these vital ecological systems.
“Such practices are against the precepts of sustainable agriculture as they contribute towards siltation of water bodies resulting in the subsequent water shortages; and water quality and biodiversity loss.
“Chemicals used for agriculture can also pollute the water bodies resulting in the death of aquatic life. Local authorities are called upon to enforce their local by-laws and ensure urban farming is done only in designated areas to avoid cultivation taking place in fragile ecosystems,” she said.
EMA applauded seed and fertiliser companies that took heed of the call by the agency to stop setting up demonstration plots in wetlands which was in the process promoting wetland cultivation.