The Minister of Environment, Pa Ousman Jarju has told the Daily Observer that Gambians should brace up for more rains in 2016 than last year.
Minister Jarju and the Agric Minister Ismaila Sanyang were in Pacharr in the Central River Region where the recent heavy and intense rains flooded most if not all the rice fields there.
The Environment Minister said this year’s rainfall has so far doubled that of last year by this time. With more rains expected this year, Minister Jarju said, his Ministry will work with the stakeholders to give timely information on weather forecast.
“This year we have received early rains and during the last ten days of July the rain was heavier and very intense. And from the statistics we have received as of yesterday [Thursday], 28th July, in most of the stations we have received almost double the amount of rainfall compared to last year [this time],” he added.
For example in Janjangbureh, Minister Jarju said the cumulative rainfall last year as of 28th July was 113.4 millimeters compared to this year, which is 236.6 millimeters as of the same period.
“In Banjul for instance, it was 74.7 millimeters and this year is 211 millimeters. So we have made this observation across the country and the river level monitoring also revealed similar scenarios. In Jahally, our team went to measure the level of the river and they observed the water level was 40cm above that of last year.”
Though unusual, it is described as a blessing at least for now that there are enough rains at the start of the farming season. And going by the Statistics so far, the Environment Minister said his Ministry is closely working with the agricultural regional directors to give them timely information to prepare in terms of heavy downpour based on the forecast.
by Alieu Ceesay in Pacharr, CRR