Heavy rains and strong winds wreck havoc in Rwanda's west, south and East as we transit from January to February, the weatherman has warned.
In an alert issued January 27, Rwanda Meteorology Agency predicts heavy rains from the evening of 27th to 28th January and 31st January to 1st February, especially in the districts that border Nyungwe Forest in the Western and Southern provinces.
The expected rainfall will measure between 25 and 50 millimeters, reads part of the notice.
Strong wind is expected in the Eastern Province mainly in districts of Rwamagana, Kayonza, Ngoma, Kirehe and Bugesera, blowing at the expected speed of between 5 and 10 metres per second.
The forecast cites convergence of wind and increased moisture over the region as the factors to influence the weather.
Speaking to The New Times, Mathieu Mbati Mugungu, the agency’s Division Manager of Weather and Climate Service and Application said the wind expected in Eastern Province might cause some damage owing to the region's topography.
"In a flat landscape such as the eastern part of Rwanda, strong winds might be dangerous. There is likelihood of it sweeping away crops in farms and blow off weak roofings for some houses," said Mugungu.
As the cited zones are usually prone to such disasters, Mugungu urged residents to avoid flood-friendly rivers and places likely to experience landslides such as sloppy and wet highlands.
"People should take usual precautions such as strengthening their roofs, heed to local leaders' advice and call upon concerned agencies like Red Cross and MINEMA [the Ministry of Emergency Management] in case of emergencies," advised Mugungu.
The weather warning comes as part of the seasonal forecast that predicted more rains in the first three months of the year than the previous years.
Released early January, the outlook forecasted “a chance of above-normal and normal rains over most parts of the country,” especially the southwestern Rwanda.
The forecast warned of rainfall ranging between 400-500 millimetres, citing the increased water temperature in the Indian Ocean and cloud convergence over the region.Follow Mugisha_Cosma