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Meteorologist Issues Advisory on Lake Victoria’s Weather Conditions

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) has issued a strong advisory urging the public to seek meteorological advice before venturing onto Lake Victoria. This caution comes in response to recent adverse weather conditions that have made certain areas of the lake particularly hazardous for various activities, especially those involving boats.

Speaking to the media on Monday, Ms. Lillian Nkwenge, Principal Public Relations Officer at UNMA, highlighted that since Friday of the previous week, Lake Victoria has been experiencing strong winds and moderate waves in several zones, notably around Entebbe and the North-Eastern region of the lake.

“There are marine forecasts between 3 PM and 3 AM that people should take heed of before getting involved in any lake activities,” Ms. Nkwenge stated. These forecasts are crucial for ensuring the safety of those who rely on the lake for their livelihoods or recreational activities.

Ms. Nkwenge emphasized that the UNMA regularly disseminates these forecasts through local radio stations. Additionally, village chairpersons at landing sites and along lakeshores have been instructed to enforce necessary precautions before permitting any activities on the lake.

The weather conditions pose a significant risk to fishermen, small boat users, and operators of small aircraft, particularly during the months of June and July. These groups are highly vulnerable to the changes in weather patterns on Lake Victoria.

“Apart from the moderate waves and strong winds, there are waterspouts that descend from cumulus clouds. These waterspouts appear as funnel-shaped figures that rotate and can cause severe destruction, including fatalities, by throwing away anything in their path,” Ms. Nkwenge explained.

The meteorological center has identified June and July as particularly unsafe periods for Lake Victoria, correlating with a higher incidence of accidents. However, Ms. Nkwenge noted that the dissemination of marine forecasts has significantly reduced accidents by 70-80 percent. She believes that with increased public cooperation, particularly from fishermen and party revelers, these numbers can be further reduced.

The UNMA continues to stress the importance of heeding weather advisories and forecasts to prevent accidents and ensure safety on Lake Victoria. The cooperation of the public, especially those directly affected by these weather conditions, is crucial in mitigating risks and safeguarding lives.

For real-time updates and detailed forecasts, the public is encouraged to stay tuned to local radio stations and follow instructions from local authorities at landing sites and lakeshores.

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