Nyemudzai Kakore, Harare Bureau
Government, through the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) is enhancing its early warning weather system by investing in early warning radios and purchase of radars to curb effects arising from changing weather patterns such as flooding and drought, Acting Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Dr Christopher Mushohwe said yesterday.
Dr Mushohwe who is also the Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister said the early warning system would ensure that messages are delivered in as many languages as possible to reach most communities.
Speaking at a press conference to mark the International World Meteorological Day, Dr Mushohwe encouraged citizens to take seriously the weather and climate warnings disseminated to avoid unnecessary loss of lives.
“With the adverse effects of climate change, there is a need to look at all the parameters to try and understand how they affect our weather patterns and how a changing climate will affect clouds. Clouds indeed play a critical role in the water cycle and shape the global distribution of water resources,” he said.
“Dams have been spilling and rivers overflowing. As rivers and streams overflowed and dams and reservoirs spilled, infrastructure such as roads, schools, bridges were damaged if not destroyed altogether. Homes, livestock and wildlife were swept away as a result of flooding in some parts of the country mostly in the southern, western and eastern regions.”
This year’s weather pattern has seen floods that affected nearly all parts of the country, killing 246 people with good rains impacting positively on agricultural activities such as command agriculture.
This year’s celebrations theme is; “Understanding Clouds”.
Dr Mushohwe said clouds, therefore, can dissipate causing fair or uncomfortable conditions hence even using the indigenous knowledge system, elders in a community can teach on how to identify rain bearing clouds and those without.
This year’s World Met Day, Dr Mushohwe said comes at a time when the country is experiencing one of its wettest seasons in a long time with standing rainfall records being broken in areas such as Buffalo Range, Rupike Irrigation scheme, Nyanga, Zaka, and Shangani among others.
As such, he said, hopefully as a nation they are able to capture and harness adequate supplies for all purposes in dams and reservoirs for future use.
“The current rainfall season, which will soon be coming to an end, has seen the country receiving above normal rains for most parts of the country and our skies had clouds throughout. It is the correct type of clouds which ensures that we receive rains when all the atmospheric conditions required for the process are met.”
He said for this year’s celebrations, the MSD department would join children from several schools today at Kuimba Shiri Bird Sanctuary at Lake Chivero.