There are expectations that most parts of the country will receive normal to above normal rainfall in the 2016/16 season. While this has raised fears of disasters, indications are that government is aware and is working to contain any eventuality.
Welcoming a Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) 2015/2016 rainfall forecast released at a press briefing in Blantyre, spokesperson for Department of Disaster Management (Dodma), Jeremiah Mphande, said his office is working round the clock to put in place measures against any flood disaster.
Mphande said they will soon launch the Malawi Floods Emergency Recovery Framework, which is funded by the World Bank. He disclosed that the target will not only be areas that were affected by floods this year.
“This is the document that we need as a country because it outlines all activities pertaining to disaster management from preparedness to recovery. The document is ready and will be launched in Chikwawa on October 18 while commemorating World Disaster Reduction Day,” said Mphande.
He said there is no need to panic because his office is working tirelessly to ably contain the situation.
He added that the four-year initiative has short, medium and long-term plans that will not put lives of people at risk again.
At the launch of the forecast, DCCMS director Jolamu Nkhokwe said there is high probability for above normal rainfall across the country, and depending on other factors, some areas might experience flooding. He added that below normal rainfall amounts are expected in some areas, particularly in the Shire Valley towards the end of the rainy season.
“The public should know that the country will experience normal to above normal rainfall amounts. The take home message is that there will be generally above normal rainfall amounts across the country,” said Nkhokwe.
He said the forecast shows that the rains will start in November and he has urged the public to take the seasonal forecast seriously and follow the daily weather forecast from next month to avoid being caught unawares by heavy rains as it happened last year.
According to Nkhokwe, unlike the previous rainy season, which had a weaker El-Nino, this season’s rainfall will be accompanied by a strong one and DCCMS says this predicts an earlier rainfall onset which is likely to be in November.
A meeting of all countries in the region held last month in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) indicated that the rainfall pattern will be the same in countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc).