Meteo Rwanda, the national meteorological agency, has identified areas in the country that are expected to face heavy rainfall between September and December.
The agency’s announcement came during the National Climate Outlook Forum held on Thursday, August 24. According to the forecast, several districts, including Nyamagabe, Nyaruguru (western parts near Nyungwe National Park), Rusizi, Nyamasheke, and parts of southern Karongi, are expected to experience significant rainfall ranging between 700 and 800 millimeters during this period.
The projected rainfall is significantly higher than the traditional average, with the maximum recorded in the same period last year being between 400 and 500 millimeters.
Climate experts attribute the projected increase in rainfall to a combination of various factors, which are likely linked to broader global climate trends. The forecast predicts that the Western Province, Northern Province, and Southern Province will also witness varying levels of heavy rainfall.
In the Western Province, regions including Rubavu, Nyabihu, Rutsiro, and Ngororero, along with parts of Karongi, Nyamasheke, and Rusizi, are expected to receive rainfall between 600 and 700 millimeters. The Northern Province, particularly Burera, Musanze, Gakenke, and small portions of Rulindo and Gicumbi, will experience similar rainfall.
In the Southern Province, districts such as Nyaruguru, eastern Nyamagabe, Ruhango, Nyanza, Huye, and Gisagara will also face rainfall within this range.
Rainfall ranging from 500 to 600 millimeters is forecasted for districts including Nyagatare, Gicumbi, Rulindo, Gasabo, Kamonyi, Muhanga, Ruhango, Nyanza, Huye, and Gisagara. Additionally, specific areas in the Eastern Province, such as southern Gakenke, western Kayonza, and eastern Rwamagana, are also expected to experience this level of rainfall.
Moderate rainfall ranging from 400 to 500 millimeters is predicted for Bugesera, Ngoma, Kayonza, Rwamagana, Gatsibo, Kirehe, and parts of the City of Kigali. The Eastern Province will also see rainfall within this range, including a small portion of southeastern Nyagatare. Furthermore, districts like Nyarugenge, Kicukiro, Gasabo, Kamonyi, Ruhango, Nyanza, and Gisagara are expected to experience similar conditions.
Areas with rainfall ranging between 300 and 400 millimeters include the northeastern parts of Kirehe and specific areas in Kayonza.
Meteo Rwanda’s Director General, Aimable Gahigi, emphasizes the potential challenges that intense rainy periods could pose to agriculture, infrastructure, and public safety. He advised various sectors, including public institutions, NGOs, the private sector, and especially farmers, to use this forecast for informed decision-making regarding agricultural activities.
Collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB), and the Ministry in Charge of Emergency Management (MINEMA), Meteo Rwanda aims to support initiatives that provide weather and climate products for effective planning in areas prone to extreme weather events.
The predicted rainy season is set to begin between September 3rd and 10th, with an expected end between December 13th and 27th. Authorities have urged preparedness and early response plans, given the potential for extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall, hailstorms, and strong winds.