Agency Forecasts Favorable Rainfall for Agriculture, GERD Filling

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Addis Ababa May 22/2021 (ENA) The above normal and moderate rainfall forecasted for this summer will create favorable condition for agricultural activities in most parts of Ethiopia and the filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) though flooding and landslide pose risks, National Meteorological Agency said.

The agency forecasts the climate conditions and the main rainy season of summer across Ethiopia and highlights the rainfall forecasts together with socio-economic impacts related to the rainfall conditions.

Accordingly, Ethiopia is expecting more than 1000 milliliters of rainfall from June to September.

North-western, Western, South Western and parts of Central Ethiopia are expected to receive normal and above normal rain.

Such rainfall pattern has been often causing flooding and land sliding in vulnerable parts of the country causing mass displacement, destruction of properties and loss of lives for years.

On the contrary, the existence of intense rainfall has been a favorable opportunity for agricultural development and hydro-electric dams filling in Ethiopia.

Most parts of the Western Ethiopia are expected to receive above normal rainfall in the coming June to September while most of the Eastern Ethiopia is expected to receive normal rainfall, the agency pointed out.

During a National Climate Outlook Forum held today, National Meteorological Agency Director-General, Fetene Teshome said the rain has posed risks of flooding and landslide beyond creating agricultural development opportunities.

The heavy rainfall is a favorable opportunity for the second phase filling of the GERD, Green Legacy activities and agricultural development, he stated.

The Director-General urged stakeholders to undertake necessary prevention measures to mitigate the risks of flooding and landslide in prone areas, occasionally expected in July and August.

Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister Sileshi Bekele said the expected rain could cause disasters if preventative measures have not taken ahead of the rain.

The forecasted rain is also an opportunity to realize the second filling phase of the GERD and facilitating the Green Legacy development, the Minister said.

“Given the forecast for this year’s summer rains, the rainfall is substantial and will have a unique meaning as our country prepares to complete the second phase of the GERD filling, which is being built by domestic capacity,” he noted.