CYCLONES REAL DANGER TO ZAMBIA
THE warning by Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit(DMMU) that tropical cyclone that is now ravaging Mozambique is likely to extend to some parts of Zambia is not only timely but must be taken seriously.
For those who may not be in the know, the main effects of tropical cyclones include heavy rains, strong winds, large storms that surges on land leaving behind a trail of destruction.
They are responsible for removing forest canopy as well as change the landscape near coastal areas even well inland places like Zambia by creating destructive heavy rainfall.
They are also capable of ripping trees, electrical and telephone lines, water pipes and put the lives of people at risk through contamination.
DMMU communications officer Rachael Chama says that Cyclone Idaicould affect Luapula, Northern, Central, Southern, Muchinga and parts of Eastern Provinces.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) – Climate Services Centre has predicted that a tropical storm is forming over Mozambique, which will migrate inland and make land fall over eastern Mozambique.
Ms Chama says specifically that in the process districts such as Lunga, Chilubi, Luwingu, Mporokoso, Kawambwa, parts of Mansa and Milenge are likely to receive rainfall in excess of 10mm from March 16.”
She has explained that Cyclone Idai is likely to make land fall in Zambia between March 15 and 20 and will be characterized by high velocity winds, heavy rainfall storms may result in flash and localized floods and debris.
It is important people are made aware of the impending climatically danger because human habitation may collapse rendering people homeless, lives and property may be lost, fields may be submerged, livestock may be affected and crossing points washed away due to the floods.
While Zambians may have nothing with the creation of Cyclone Idai it is important for them to understand fully the importance and effects of climate change which is certainly now at play.
It is a fact that tropical cyclones typically form over large bodies of relatively warm water and derive their energy through the evaporation of water from the ocean surface, which ultimately recondenses into clouds and rain when moist air rises and cools to saturation.
But in Zambia we can aggravate the situation if for instance we allow the current indiscriminate cutting of trees which leads to desertification and the consequences are well known.
The most eminent effect of desertification is drought because the rain cycle is expurgated and formation of rain clouds reduced to nothing.
And when this occurs agriculture suffers and food security in many affected countries is nothing to talk about.
Now experts are warning that tropical cyclones and climate change concerns are likely to intensity under global warming.
It is then possible that Zambia may continue to experience the effects of these predicted climatic changes.
This also calls on our Meteorological Department to be on top of things by issuing accurate weather reports to help with preparedness should matters come to worst.