It is supposed to be hot and extremely dry right now in Kigali but, unless you live in a cave, you are probably brandishing an umbrella as you go about the day’s business.
I’m not an expert in meteorology but, what I am an expert in, is Kigali’s weather patterns. And this rain, right in the middle of August, is strange to me.
Thank goodness I’m merely a civil servant and therefore not victimised by changes of weather. But can you imagine what the farmers are going through?
Subsistence agriculture, the livelihood of the majority of the Rwandan populace, is an occupation that relies on the vagaries of the weather like no other.
There isn’t an insurance policy that they can depend on and once the harvests fail, that’s it. With barely any food reserves in their rudimentary barns, the business of the weather is life and death for the Rwandan farmer.
So, I ask this question, does anyone know why the rains are coming down so early?
How many of you follow the weather report on Rwanda Television? How many of you actually believe what the weatherman/woman tells you?
When I was a lot younger, I remember watching people in North America watching the news and obsessed with the weather. Know why? Because invariably, the weather person was spot on. You would know, just from watching one news bulletin, the week’s weather.
This kind of information is extremely important because, like it or not, this affects us. While I can afford to get showered on, the farmers in Bugesera can’t afford a surprise rainy season.
For generations now, we’ve had two rainy seasons at about the same time. So, when the seasons are out of kilter, farmers simply don’t know what to do. Here is the question I would like to ask the experts in the Ministry of Agriculture and the Meterology office; is this rain part of a new, earlier rainy season or are we merely getting some relief from the dust before the sun beats down again? Because if it is, people need to know.
Climate change is a reality, notwithstanding the nonsense of the Tea Party wackos in the United States. And, while climate is, unlike mere weather, measured over decades, maybe what we are seeing right now is the start of a new climate pattern in the region.
In the Horn of Africa, there is a huge drought, unlike any we have ever seen. And in Rwanda, we have rain at a time we have rarely seen. I’m not being a harbinger of global climate catastrophe, but information is power.
And unless some is forthcoming I, along with many fellow citizens, will be up a creek without a paddle. We need a good explanation, should we start planting or should we wait?