As 2018 comes to an end and 2019 approaches, the negative impacts of climate change will continue to increase.
The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Services issued their report for the outlook of the Dry Season climate which runs from January to May 2019. For the first half of 2019, we can expect a harsh Dry Season where rainfall is predicted to be very scarce.
Days and nights will be warmer than normal and there is expected to be a larger number of hot days in late February to May with increased warm spells. The impacts of this severe Dry Season will lead to water shortages, extreme dryness with prolonged dry periods and even short-term drought.
Showers are expected to arrive in late May. However, the MET office states that there is only a 10 per cent chance. We can also expect a rise in bush fires, reduced water availability and increased water stress.
This expected weather forecast will affect everyone. For homeowners, consider purchasing tanks for water storage as water shortages may be frequent. For your gardens, you can purchase or make your own (see below for DIY instructions) water feeders to install in your plants pots or garden beds to ensure that your plants do not wither and wilt as a result of heat stress.
For the farming community, consider planting more drought tolerant crops such as sweet potatoes in your open fields. Ensure that your fields are lined with irrigation tubing. The creation of a pond on your plot will be an asset to you.
This will also be the perfect time to consider the climate-smart approach of hydroponics, which utilises less water than traditional agriculture. For your livestock and small ruminants, start planning your precautionary measures for the months ahead.
In general, it is also very important to ensure that you stay well hydrated. Always have a bottle of water with you especially if you are always on the go. People with respiratory ailments should also take precautions as there will be reduced air quality due to pollutants from bush fires. Do not forget your pets; ensure that they are kept in cool, shaded areas.
DIY water feeders
Obtain a two-litre plastic bottle, remove the label and using a small nail, create holes in the cap. Cut open the base of the bottle and invert the bottle cap with holes side down about two inches into the plant pot or garden bed. Make sure the bottle is stable enough that it won’t tip over. Fill it with water and allow it to slowly release water to your plants.
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