Flooding Expected This Year

Experts have predicted heavy rains this coming rainy season which might result to flash flooding to most parts of the country.

Prof Desmond Manatsa, a climate science expert at Bindura University of Science Education, said that Zimbabweans need to reconsider the risks given that wetter conditions are expected this season.

“The Pacific Ocean had a La Nina and the Indian Ocean Dipole is negative. Both conducive for a normal to above normal rainfall amounts. The methodology which we use for our national forecast is only able to predict total amounts, but has no capacity to incorporate variations within a season.”

Given those risks, Prof Manatsa said rainfall extremes have become more frequent within the season where floods and drought spells occur back-to-back irrespective of the outcome of the season.

“Since observations show that the intensity and frequency of high intra-seasonal rainfall events outweigh that of drought spells in an above normal rainfall and the reverse occurs in a drought year, we can safely say that this season could be characterised by high rainfall episodes within the season especially in the second half,” he said.

Furthermore, Prof Manatsa said drainage systems in urban areas should be attended so as to avoid flooding.

“The other aspect that can be derived from the forecast is that it may have an extended end of season. In light of this, I am sure agricultural extension officers should be in a position to offer the appropriate advice to local farmers depending on location. In urban areas, drainage systems should be attended to so that accumulation of rainwater which may cause flash floods is avoided.” He said.

Yeukai is a professional and experienced journalist, broadcaster & writer.

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