Ngamiland, like other parts of the country has over the years been experiencing a downward trend in the amount of rainfall received in the area, and this decline has been attributed to climate change.
Department of Metrological Services Principal Meteorologist I Verena Jansen told Ngami Times that analysis from seven rainfall stations in Ngamiland has shown that the region has declined over the years, noting that the last good rainfalls recorded since 2006 were in 2014.
The rainfall trend in Ngamiland, she said then experienced a 6-year low rainfall spell from 2015 to 2019. She however indicated that from 2020 to 2022 they recorded moderate rainfalls in the district.
“The analysis where done using seven rainfall stations in the Ngamiland District which include Gumare, Matsaudi, Maun, Qangwa, Sehithwa, Seronga and Shakawe. We however have a challenge because these rainfall stations are in schools and during holidays and school vacations we are unable to collect measurements from most stations,” said Jansen.
She explained that rainfall in Ngamiland comes a bit late around November, therefore, the January-March trend in the district shows that there was a dry spell.
According to Jansen when tropical cyclones occur from the sea, most parts of the country including Ngamiland experience heavy rains highlighting the year 2000 where there were heavy rains that read 2.6mm.
“This has so far been the highest reading in Ngamiland since 1981, and was a result of Cyclone Eline,” Jansen revealed.
Ngamiland is also said to be the most affected by climate change as it is located right under the high pressure cell thus it is mostly under the sun leading to high temperatures on the surface area and fewer clouds.
She explained that the reason why Ngamiland was not dry but moderately wet this year is because of the heavy rains that were experienced in the panhandle while other parts of the country had a dry spell.
Jansen has since urged communities to plan activities with knowledge of climate change. She further urged communities to practices climate friendly activities to avoid the devastating effects that may come with climate change.
“ The Department will issue this year’s 2022/23 Seasonal forecast in September 2022, and in Ngamiland we are planning to have stakeholders workshops in September and December or early January to sensitize stakeholders on what is expected during the upcoming season,” Jansen revealed.
Climate change is a prominent global challenge at present. Although sub-Saharan Africa is responsible for only four percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions, it is the region most susceptible to the dangerous effects of climate change, some of which have already been experienced.