Gambians are getting ready for another rainy season as June, the usual start of summer edges closer but the outlook for the rains presages a higher risk of flooding continuing the devastating pattern of previous years.
On Friday, the Department of Water Resources reported the possibility and risk of more flooding in the 2022 rainy season which comes amid increased works to build local resilience and shield communities from the ravages of floods that dealt a major blow to the rural Gambia last year.
The department of water resources says projected floodings can lead to the loss of crops, material goods, animals, and even human life in exposed localities.
Presenting the 2022 Seasonal Rain Forecast, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources, Ismaila Danso, said the country is expected to have an average rainfall quantity that equals or exceeds 1000 mm in the western sectors of the country and between 7900mm over the rest of the country.
The forecast indicated that rain will fall in the country between 12 and 18 June and these dates are expected to be generally early by up to two weeks.
It’s expected that the expected quantity of rain would provide sufficient soil moisture for crop planting as downpours are predicted to become continuous.
DPS Danso reported that the latest figures indicated a 42 percent chance of above normal rainfall, 35 percent chance of near-normal rainfall, and 20 per cent chance for below-normal rainfall.
“If you put this in simple terms, it means that the chance of having above normal rainfall is higher than the chance of having a normal rainfall,” the leading water and weather expert added.
Meanwhile, if the 2022 forecast is anything to go by, then this year’s rainy season will extend longer than normal to a record 120 to 130 days.
The government has advised that farmers, herders, water resource managers, projects, NGOs, and other authorities invest more time in high-yielding crops tolerant of wet conditions such as rice, sugar cane, and tubers.