02 Mar 2015 15:50pm
WINDHOEK, 02 MAR (NAMPA) - Continued below average rainfall is expected during this week, according to a global crises and disaster analysis.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), which is a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in its latest Global Weather Hazards Summary issued for the period 27 February to 05 March 2015 warned that dryness continues across much of southern Africa, while flooding risks remain over Mozambique, Malawi and Madagascar.
While rainfall totals have become seasonable across south-eastern Africa, 30-day rainfall deficits have increased following below-average rainfall in Namibia, Angola, western Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, and eastern/central Tanzania, it said.
The summary stated that the total rainfall since 01 December 2014 has been less than 80 per cent of normal across these areas, and less than 50 per cent of normal rainfall in parts of northern Namibia and South Africa.
The summary emphasised that below-average rainfall and high temperatures have hurt cropping conditions in the North West, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa.
Dryness has also worsened in Namibia and Botswana, and below-average rains were again observed in southern Zimbabwe and southern Mozambique.
For the next week, an increase in rain is expected over dry areas in southern Tanzania and South Africa, while light to moderate rain (about 20 millimetres) is forecast across dry areas in western southern Africa, southern Zimbabwe, and southern Madagascar, it added.
Meanwhile, the Namibia Agriculture Union (NAU) recently said a very small portion of the country received rainfall thus far.
Feedback from regional representatives and agricultural unions was that the situation with regard to rangeland is critical and that only about 6 per cent of the country so far received rain which can be described as normal, according to the unions latest newsletter issued on Friday.
It said that in the meantime, the auction houses struggle with an increase of animals for slaughtering. The scenario has caused a stir as auction pens are full to capacity while bottlenecks are experienced with regards to the transport of animals to feedlots in South Africa.