from ODIRILE TOTENG in Gaborone, Botswana
GABORONE, (CAJ News) – HEATWAVES are forecast to batter Botswana and Namibia until the end of October as climate change returns to haunt Southern Africa.
The Department of Meteorological Services in Botswana has issued a heatwave warning across the country through at least October 27.
Maximum temperatures of 39-42 C (102-108 F) are forecast over parts of Central, Chobe, Ghanzi, Ngamiland and North-East districts and 36-40 C (97-104 F) across much of the rest of the country.
Namibia’s Meteorological Service has warned that a heatwave will persist over much of the interior of the country through at least October 30, with the exception of southern interior regions where a slight cooling is forecast from October 27.
Maximum temperatures of 36-40 C (97-104 F) are forecast across much of the central and northern interior of the country from October 26-28.
Authorities are likely to issue new warnings or update/rescind existing advisories as weather conditions change over the coming days.
The extended period of high temperatures and dry conditions may increase the potential for wildfires throughout the region.
“The high temperatures may result in drought conditions in the country,” said an official from the Botswana Met Department.
In the neighboring countries of Botswana and Namibia, authorities may implement water rationing, restricting water supply when necessary.
They may also prohibit the use of potable water to irrigate green spaces or limit water withdrawal from wells, springs or waterways.
Experts have warned heatwaves pose a health threat to vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, children, pregnant women, and those with respiratory illnesses, due to the increased possibility of heat stroke or heat exhaustion during prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
Southern Africa is among the region worst hit by climate change impacts.
Apart from the heatwaves and dry spells, the region is frequently pummeled by deadly floods.
– CAJ News