Warning: Ghana faces drought this year


The country is likely to experience low rainfalls characterised by severe thunderstorms and gusty winds this year, Charles Kweku Yorke, Principal Meteorologist, has forecast.

He said observations by the Meteorological Agency so far had indicated that this year’s rainfall pattern would be comparable to that of 1987, the year the country experienced one of its worst rainfalls.

Mr Yorke, who is the Head of Research of the Ghana Meteorological Agency, told the Ghanaian Times in an interview on Monday that the expected general decline of rainfall to be experienced in most parts of the country was likely to result in poor crop production and possible load shedding by the Volta River Authority (VRA) as the reservoirs of the Akosombo Dam could be affected.

He warned that people who operate water transport, especially those on the Volta Lake, should be extra careful since the gusty winds and thunderstorms could prove dangerous.

Mr. Yorke asked those dwelling in buildings with weak roofings to do something about the situation since the gusty winds could easily rip off such roofs.

He urged outdoor advertisers to be circumspective of materials they used since outdoor advertisements could pose great danger to motorists and pedestrians.

On regional basis, Mr. Yorke said long dry spells should be expected in the Upper West Region, adding that the region would generally experience a decrease of rainfall ranging from 650mm to 850mm between April and October.

He said a slight increase in total rainfall of between 950mm and 1,150mm was expected in the Upper East while a total of between 570mm and 1,060mm should be expected in the Northern Region within the period.

Mr. Yorke said while the Transition Belt was expected to have a slight decrease ranging from 460mm to 870mm between March to July, the Forest Zone would experience a significant decrease in total amount of rainfall from 400mm to 830mm during the same period.

He said the East Coast, stretching from Saltpond to Ada and beyond, would experience a significant decrease in rainfall between March and July with a total rainfall of between 140mm and 490mm in the major season.

Mr. Yorke said the West Coast Belt, covering Cape Coast to Half Assini area, noted for recording the highest amount of rainfall in the country, would also experience a significant decrease of a total forecast of 530mm to 1250mm.

He noted that though the rainfall pattern would be intermittent and characterized by long dry spells, a single downpour could cause flood and warned that in spite of the predicted low rainfall, people should not assume that there could not be enough water to cause flooding.