The river was just flowing at the bridge on the 1st October (if you look at the last 2 photos you will see this). But by the 3rd it has stopped at the bridge.
It is still just flowing at my old camp in the Jongomero area. but this will last only a few more days.
The marabou storks are feasting on the dying fish, that are now floating in many of the pools along the river making the water very unpalatable for the animals and aquatic life.
If you look back through my observations you will see that october the 1st is the 'traditional' date for the drying of the GRR. This is due to the fact that the rice growers up stream are beginning to flood their paddies in readiness for the rice seedlings. It has long ben my question as to why rice growers cannot defer their starting date to Dec 1st when the rain is more imminent.
Last year we had a major break through in that the river flowed all year without stopping, it was an historic occasion. I have heard some say this is due to good rainfall. However, one needs only to look through rainfall records to see that this is not so. I also heard a rumor that 2009 was not the only year that the river continued to flow, but this is 100% incorrect. I lived about 1 meter away from the GRR from 1994 till 2006 and during that time, (and until 2009), the river died up every single year.
The reason last year was so successful in terms of flow, was because sincere efforts were made to ensure correct usage of water in the irrigated areas up stream of the Ruaha Park were enforced.
We know now, that through proper management we can enjoy year round flow of the GRR through Ruaha Park, It is important to note that this is at NO detriment to the farmers up stream.
By sound management policies it is possible to keep all stakeholders happy.