Cold spell to worsen – Met Dept


HARARE – The Meteorological Services Department says temperatures will continue to fall — with ground frost expected across the country.

The Met department also warned farmers into horticulture, poultry, piggery, dairy and hatchery farming to seek advice from the ministry of Agriculture on best practices.


“Clear skies at night will result in rapidly falling temperatures, consequently there should be increased risk of ground frost occurring mainly along the central watershed and other wind sheltered places,” they said.

A fortnight ago, a portion of Lower Gweru was struck by sleet, which produced snow-like ice crystals on the ground.

Yesterday, the Met department received equipment worth $1,6 million which can among other things detect veld fires.

Speaking at the event, Chinese ambassador Wang Pin said the equipment would monitor weather more effectively and process information more accurately.

The equipment is able to receive and process data from Chinese satellites, which can help the Met department in early warnings of disasters as well as provide more accurate weather forecasts.

“From today, on Zimbabwe will be better prepared for the impacts of climate change such as the El Nino induced drought which has rendered nearly 4 million Zimbabweans food insecure.

“China this year will provide $24,6 million worth of rice for drought relief. Now we are working on the modalities to get the rice to Zimbabwe and ensure that the most vulnerable communities get it,” he said.

Climate minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said the new equipment can enable the Met department to alert local authorities of any uncontrolled forest fires.

She said the equipment will also make it easy for authorities to nab culprits of forest fires within a 50-metre radius.

“With this satellite receiving system, Zimbabwe now has another facility to monitor forest fires that are at least 100 metres wide anywhere in the country.

Met department director Amos Makarau said two of three automatic weather stations have been installed at Agritex offices at Neshuro Growth Point in Masvingo and in Rushinga.

He said the equipment would help farmers whose livelihood and sustenance depend on weather patterns and information.

“We also have 1 600 radios that will be distributed in remote communities so that they access information on weather patterns in their areas,” Makarau said.


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