TMA: Cyclones Savannah, Idai have affected rain patterns in Tanzania

Thursday March 21 2019

TMA main weather forecasting station manager,

TMA main weather forecasting station manager, Mr Samwel Mbuya. Photo|File 

Dar es Salaam. The Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) has said that the low pressure phenomenon in eastern Madagascar, combined with the Savannah and Idai cyclones, have negatively impacted the weather conditions and seasonal rain patterns in Tanzania.

In the event, the most impacted areas of the country are the northern parts of Morogoro Region, as well as the Coast, Tanga, Manyara and Kilimanjaro Regions.

Speaking to The Citizen in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, the TMA’s main weather forecasting station manager, Mr Samwel Mbuya, said the Savannah cyclone – which will peter out before it hits eastern Madagascar – and Cyclone Idai (wreaked havoc in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe) have adversely impacted rainfall patterns in the northern regions in this period of heavy rains in Tanzania.

Mr Mbuya advised farmers in the affected regions to cultivate fast-maturing food crops.

According to the manager, rainfall and other weather patterns in the country’s Southern Highlands Regions, and the Lake Zone will remain normal, the cyclones notwithstanding.

Noting that Cyclone Idai was triggered by inordinate air pressure around Madagascar, the TMA manager said the cyclone started raging on March 5 this year, and died down on March 15. During those short ten days, the cyclone wreaked no mean havoc in the three countries of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

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Cyclone Idai struck coastal Beira in Mozambique on Thursday last week, with raging winds of up to 200 kilometres an hour, before heading west to blast Malawi and Zambia – leaving heavy floods and tragic devastation in its wake.

“Tanzania remained unscathed by Cyclone Idai – and is likely to also remain untouched by Cyclone Savannah, which is on the wane and may not even reach eastern Madagascar,” Mr Mbuya said, assuring Tanzanians.

In a related development, the minister for Agriculture, Mr Japhet Hasunga, called upon farmers in Morogoro, Coast,Tanga, Manyara and Kilimanjaro Regions to plant drought-resistant food crops this farming season. This is on account of the imminent failure of the rains this year.

The minister stressed the urgent need for farmers to select the right type and quality of seeds for drought conditions, as well as take up irrigation farming where possible to counter the ill effects of the deteriorating weather patterns.

In any case, the minister reminded Tanzanians to strictly conserve the environment, as environmental degradation is invariably caused by human activities, leading to unfavourable weather patterns.