Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
BULAWAYO and some parts of Matabeleland yesterday received rains after a prolonged dry spell that was experienced in most parts of the country.
Victoria Falls, Hwange and Binga are some of the areas that have received rains, breaking a dry spell that lasted almost a month.
More rains are expected today and going forward this week. The prolonged dry spell resulted in moisture stress on some crops, but all hope is not lost with the return of the rains.
As the rains pounded Bulawayo yesterday, some residents in the city took to social media platforms to celebrate the downpour, with others sharing pictures of where they were as it rained.
The Meteorological Service Department (MSD) projected normal to above normal rainfalls this season, but a prolonged dry spell starting last month has been a cause of concern for farmers and residents alike.
Low rainfall means that Bulawayo residents have to endure water shedding. The city has already introduced a temporary 20-hour water shedding programme for Gwabalanda, Magwegwe West and Magwegwe North suburbs.
The local authority said it cannot cope with the consumption levels in the mentioned suburbs. The country last received significant rains in January and the first week of February.
In a daily weather report released yesterday, the MSD said some areas that received rains on Tuesday include Gokwe in Midlands Province and Kadoma in Mashonaland West Province, while isolated thunderstorms are expected in some parts of the country today.
“It should be briefly cloudy and warm with isolated afternoon thundershowers in Matabeleland North, Bulawayo Metropolitan, northern areas of Midlands, all Mashonaland Provinces and Harare Metropolitan Province.
Sunny and hot conditions are expected in the remainder of the country though mild in the morning and warm in the afternoon,” read the statement.
MSD said similar weather conditions are expected on Friday. “It should be mostly cloudy and warm with isolated thunderstorms in Matabeleland North, Bulawayo Metropolitan, northern areas of Midlands, all Mashonaland Provinces, Harare Metropolitan Province and northern areas of Manicaland. It is expected to be mild both in the morning and evening,” read the statement.
Matabeleland North provincial Agritex officer Mr Dumisani Nyoni said rains were desperately needed to save crops in the province.
“We last received rains in areas such as Nkayi among other districts in the province during the last week of January. However, a few other areas received rains during the first week of February.
The province had not received rains up to date,” said Mr Nyoni. He said traditional grains such as sorghum and millet were still in fair condition.
“Due to the dry spell, we could not even apply pesticide on our crops and some of the crop was now being affected by the fall armyworm.
That is the summary of our crop situation, we are really in need of improved rainfall,” said Mr Nyoni. He said some crops that had reached maturity stage wilted due to lack of rain.
Addressing a media briefing during a post Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said light rains were expected this week in almost all parts of the country.
Article Source: The Chronicle