Africa’s second largest copper producer Zambia, forecasts above normal rains 2016/2017 season due to La Niña phenomenon. La Niña effects is the cooling of the seas surface temperatures in the tropical pacific which recurs every 3-5 years on average. This lasts half to two years. This phenomenon is the opposite of El Niño, infact weather scientists call it El Niños attention grabbing brother.
Zambian farmers especially those on the maize belt will have the highest crop at risk from a prolonged rain season, Zambia National Farmers Union – ZNFU warned in a statement contained on their website. This could impact crop yields adversely to spiral potential food inflation.
This will be a doubled edged sword experience for the Southern Africa nation as crops will be at risk yet water bodies may benefit to ease power deficits being experienced.
The worlds largest 185million cubic liter capacity dam the Kariba requires 2-3 years of healthy rain to fill up to operate at full capacity. Other water bodies on the southern part of Zambia used for hydro energy generation are the Zambezi and Kafue.
The Kariba is currently 31% full according the Zambezi River Authority website as at 09 August.