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EZULWINI – Eswatini is once again heading for a serious water shortage and crop failure.

Indications by the Eswatini Meteorological Service Department show that the kingdom might not receive adequate rainfall during the first quarter which is October, November and December. This was revealed by the department during the National Rainfall and Climate Outlook Forum (NARCOF) Dissemination meeting, held at Happy Valley on Wednesday.
Forecaster Sifiso Nzalo said during the above months, Eswatini would receive above to normal rainfall. Nzalo said in December, January and February, there would be normal rains with a bias of below. This, Nzalo said meant that the country would receive less than usual rains collected during those months.

He said more rains would be received in November, December and January but in February and March, Eswatini would receive reduced and below of what was normally accumulated.
According to Nzalo, the indications of the weather outlook showed that the country would experience water shortage and required to put majors in place. Chief Executive Officer at the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Russell Dlamini also noted that the rainfall season was not going to be a normal one. Dlamini said it showed that the country would receive less rainfall which would affect livelihoods.

He said other regions were expected to be worse off especially the lowveld. Dlamini said it was imperative to monitor the water levels, including the river basins and dams. “The agency has activated a plan to have monthly reports and should the situation worsen, we will meet and communicate regularly,” he said. Manager Operations at NDMA Sihle Mzileni said predicted rainfall implications of the 2018/19 country outlook showed that the country would be faced with a drought onset. Mzileni said these were the primary impacts of the El Nino induced drought to be witnessed by the country during the season. He said the projected implications of the season in terms of envisaged hazards, as informed by previous vulnerability assessment reports and drought impact studies were a manifestation of prolonged dry spells and extreme heat.

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