– by Ed Richardson

Above-average rainfall could disrupt transport routes throughout Southern Africa, with the Southern Africa Climate Outlook Forum (Sarcof) predicting that most of the countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are likely to receive normal to above-normal rainfall between October and March 2022.

On the positive side, good rains will also boost demand for agriculture-related transport, with increased demand for inputs such as fertilisers and equipment, and the need for trucks to carry the harvests to storage and markets.

There are chances of flooding in the bulk of DRC and north-western Angola and increased chances of normal to above-normal rainfall in northern Mozambique, northern and southern half of Tanzania, northern Malawi, northern and eastern Zambia, southernmost DRC, the bulk of Angola, the eastern half of Namibia, western half of Botswana, most of central South Africa, central parts of Zambia, southern Malawi, northern half of Zimbabwe and the central parts of Mozambique.

Cyclones are expected, according to Sarcof.

It will not be a wet season for everyone, however.

The south-western tip of Angola, western fringes of Namibia, and south-western South Africa are forecast to receive normal to below-normal rains.

Security and risk company Gardaworld warns that flood waters and debris flows may render some bridges, rail networks, or roadways impassable, impacting overland travel in and around affected areas, especially in rural areas, where infrastructure is already of a poor standard.

“Ponding on road surfaces could cause hazardous driving conditions on regional highways.

“Authorities could temporarily close some low-lying routes that become inundated by flood waters,” it states.