The Sierra Leone Metrological Agency (SLMet) has Tuesday, 18th May, 2021 disclosed that Sierra Leone will in 2021 deficit in rainfall.
Giving the 2021 seasonal outlook to the media in a PowerPoint presentation, during a news conference held at the SLMet’s head office, on Charlotte Street in Freetown, Deputy Director General and Head of Operations, SLMet, Gabriel Kpaka said Sierra Leone would record rainfall amounts equivalent to below average over the entire period with respect to the 1981 – 2010 baseline period.
At regional level, he said Western Region would record 51838.8, East, 21061, South 43407.4 and Northern region 7244.8 respectively.
The SLMet Head of Operation and Deputy Director General informed that there will be early rains this year in Eastern, Western Southern and Northern regions, adding that there would also be longer dry spells at the start of the season to average to longer dry spells towards the end of the season.
He said there will be overall flows with a deficit trend, warning that there will be likelihood of flooding.
Kpaka furthered that there is also the likelihood to expect strong wind prevalence with high occurrence in September, with thunderstorm and lightening with high occurrence in October.
Based on the existing configuration and the future of the ocean surface drawn from SLMet forecasts, Head of Operations – Kpaka made several disaster risks reduction recommendations aimed at preventing the occupation of flood-prone communities in urban areas.
He encouraged all to take strong steps in advancing safety of people and ensure the maintenance of disaster risks alerts infrastructure installed in floodable areas and called on the appropriate agencies and departments to reinforce flood protection dykes and embark on regular drainage clearances.
The SLMet Head of Operations urged that alert thresholds should be closely monitored in high flood – risks sites, and assured all of enhancing seasonal forecast communications, along with sensitizations of vulnerable communities, involving state actors in disaster risks reductions nationwide.
He therefore recommended rain harvest, support Ministries Departments and Agencies in surveillance and pest control, diversification of agricultural practices, set up livestock feeds, vaccinate population and animals, escalate the provision of misquote nets and called for the timely interventions of non-governmental organizations.
He stressed the setting up of stock medicine, strengthening the capacities of the national health system, promote irrigation, and support the deployment of techniques to increase crop yields, through choice of varieties.
Responding to questions from the media in relation to range of issues raised during the presentation, Kpaka said the cutting down of trees, building on mountain tops, land uses, uses of old vehicles amongst several human activities are responsible for Climate Change problems.
He disclosed the government through the line agencies are presently working on a Climate Change Policy.
On the sources and credibility of SLMet data, he replied that data cannot be just dished out like that; adding that they are using data since 1981 to 2020.
He said data processed from SLMet are always sent to other platforms for quality control before they are released for public consumption.