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Horn of African states pledge cooperation on weather prediction

NAIROBI, Feb. 24 — Countries in the Horn of Africa region will share knowledge and best practices on metrology in order to respond effectively to climatic vagaries like droughts and floods, officials said on Monday.

Speaking during the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook forum in Nairobi, policy makers and scientists agreed that a regional approach was crucial to strengthen weather prediction.

"Most economic sectors in the Greater Horn of Africa are sensitive to climate variability hence the need to strengthen our capacity to predict this phenomenon," said Kenya's Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Richard Lesiyampe.

Policymakers and climate scientists from the Horn of Africa region said that incoherent policies, outdated technology and poor linkage with the grassroots hampered dissemination of weather information.

Lesiyampe urged regional metrological services to share expertise and adopt new technologies in order to boost weather prediction.

"Effective weather prediction will enhance our capacity to plan for the future. The Horn of Africa region has suffered due to inability to predict extreme weather events," Lesiyampe remarked.

Dissemination of timely weather information is key to build climate resilience in the horn of Africa region.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Drought (IGAD) Executive Secretary, Mahboub Maalim, said donors have pledged new financial commitment to upgrade metrological infrastructure in the Horn of Africa.

"Investments in new technologies is key to improve management of risks associated with climate variability. We are assisting countries develop science based climate prediction capacity," Mahboub said.

He revealed that IGAD has supported the establishment of regional centers of excellence to boost metrological services.

"We have implemented projects in pastoral regions to boost climate resilience for communities and ecosystems. Leaders in this region have resolved to prioritize interventions that would boost preparedness to droughts," he added.

He disclosed that Heads of State from the Horn of Africa region have adopted a protocol to enhance cooperation on metrological services. (PNA/Xinhua)


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