Editor's Comment

Let’s make use of rainwater

THE rains are here, so are the opportunities as well as the pitfalls.
After a long wait, parts of the country received rains on Tuesday going into Wednesday. The rains were more over the western half of the country.
The rain came as a huge relief in the areas where it was received as it moderated the weather following high temperatures.
The meteorological department has forecast that rainfall activities will continue over most parts of Zambia with very high daytime temperatures over Eastern and Muchinga provinces.
Similarly, very high temperatures exceeding 38° celsius are expected over Eastern and Muchinga provinces.
The high temperatures and the available moisture may trigger isolated thunder showers.
Citizens are therefore advised to take precautionary measures so that they are not on the wrong side of the weather.
If there is a time when citizens are expected to have interest in weather information, it is now so that they plan their movements as well as schedules according to the situation as advised by experts.
The onset of rains is very significant in Zambia because it is the season when our hard-working farmers grow food.
Social media was awash yesterday as citizens living in districts where it rained shared their pleasant experiences.
Rain is the lifeblood of human existence because it waters the plants and crops and helps raise the animals which depend on pasture.
Rains fill the rivers and dams from which hydro-power stations generate electricity for industrial and domestic consumption.
Rainwater fills streams, rivers and lakes. As of now, Zambia is facing a serious electricity generation crisis because of inadequate water in Lake Kariba.
Apart from cultivation, it enables the growth of pasture for livestock such as cattle and goats as well as the resurrection of perennial streams from which people in rural areas draw water as well as catch fish from.
There are opportunities for vegetables such as mushroom and a host of other wild fruits on which rural communities survive for consumption and selling to earn money.
Much as it has started raining, farmers should also heed the advice by the meteorological department on how far the season may go.
Although the rainy season usually runs from November to around April, the advent of climate change has seen a significant reduction in rains, especially in the south-west of the country.
This means that farmers in these regions and elsewhere should take advantage of the rains they will receive by planting early-maturing varieties of the various crops.
Farmers and other households should also plan for the prolonged dry spell by harvesting rainwater for later use.
While there was joy following the arrival of the rains, in some parts of Lusaka, it translated into doom due to floods.
Some drainages have already clogged, raising genuine concerns about health risks.
Apart from malaria due to ponds being formed where mosquitos will breed from, there are genuine fears about the recurrence of malaria.
It has also raised a red flag about what the local authority has been doing before the onset of the rains because some areas have become impassable.
The Lusaka City Council’s engineering department, in conjunction with the health authorities, should have mapped the hotspots to take care of the rains.
The flooding of Kulima Tower Bus Station, one of the busiest in Lusaka, should have been tackled long ago so that people who use public transport are not inconvenienced.
There is still room for the local authorities to make amends before the rainy season peaks.

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