THAI RAINMAKERS

Thai experts are expected to start demonstrations to create rainfall in Mbeya and Iringa regions by March 2008 according to the Guardian. Director of Transport and Communications in the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Dr Bartholomew Rufunjo, said the government and the delegation from Thailand, which was recently in Tanzania, had completed all the necessary preparations. Rufunjo said the costs would be shared by both governments. Tanzania would be responsible for handling the rainmakers and all the Tanzanian specialists and would provide an airplane to be used during cloud seeding. Thailand would provide the technology and equipment. Rufunjo said that Thais had been using such technology to create rainfall in their country for more than 30 years and nobody had been adversely affected

The Thai delegation included the Director of the ‘Royal Rainmaking Bureau.’ Some water experts however, said that it would have an adverse effect on the environment. A scientist at the Water Resources Institute in Dar es Salaam warned that the government must first study the viability, practicability and implications of artificial rain technology before importing it. She said that the chemicals used could affect climatic patterns, the ecosystem, water sources and the soil. Excessive use of the chemicals would affect biodiversity and make the soil unproductive, besides being a water pollutant.

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