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We Pray For Rain

2007-07-11 22:35:11
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The Bolgatanga Muslim community led by the Regional Chief Imam, Alhaji Yussif Adam, recited the Holy Quran and said special prayers at the Central Mosque, imploring God to bring rainfall to the area, which is currently experiencing a severe drought.

The move by the Muslims followed a long wait by the people of the Upper East Region for the onset of the rainy season, which normally comes between the months of April and May each year.

About two or three downpours occurred in the Bolgatanga Municipality in May, making it possible for some residents to sow the early millet. Since then, however, there is a lull in the much-anticipated rains, causing most of the crops that had been sewn to wilt.

The situation is becoming rather alarming, in view of the fact that July, which is traditionally considered the peak of the rainy season in the three Northern regions, has gone almost half-way without any rainfall.

Consequently, a significant number of farmers across the Region have not yet ploughed their land, let alone to sow.

"It may be too late to plant groundnuts or corn even if the rains arrive now, because the time left before the dry season sets in is rather short," one farmer from Zaare near Bolgatanga remarked.

There seem to be a divided opinion on the situation. While some of the residents the GNA spoke to believe it was a near-hopeless situation, others were also of the conviction that the coming of the proper rainy season had only suffered a delay, and that the skies would open up towards the end of July.

"The seasons shift forward by the year, so instead of having the rainy season start in May this year, we might have it a bit later," observed an official of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture who pleaded anonymity.

Whatever the reason for the delay may be the apprehension being expressed by farmers in the region presently could turn into panic and then despair, if there is no improvement in the rainfall situation within the next fortnight.


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