The installation is aimed at improving the provision and utilization of targeted meteorological products by strengthening both product generation in terms of quality, quantity and flow of information
The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) has started the installations of automatic weather stations in Kampala.
Twenty weather stations are to be installed in various districts with the first phase seeing 12 being installed in February and eight in the second phase.
The installation is aimed at improving the provision and utilization of targeted meteorological products by strengthening both product generation in terms of quality, quantity and flow of information.
Festus Luboyera, the Executive Director UNMA, said that the installations of the weather stations is intended to increase the data flow and hence accuracy of forecast.
"The weather stations are being launched at a crucial time of climate change when majority of users especially farmers are yearning for accurate weather and climate information to increase agriculture production and maximize application of weather and climate information for the social-economic transformation of the country," he said.
Luboyera called for the construction of more weather stations in every sub county and also renovates the existing ones since they are few.
"We need to build more stations; so far, the twelve that we have started installing is a small fraction of optimal weather stations in the country for UNMA to provide a comprehensive service delivery to provide to the users," he stressed
Johannes Rumohr, Advisor, Water Resource Management and Water Stewardship, German International Cooperation (GIZ) highlighted the challenge of UNMA not owning land where the weather stations are located.
"UNMA was supposed to commission 13 stations but because they lacked location at Apapai Health center in Serere district, They were asked to relocate the stations from its spot to pave way for the expansion of the maternity ward. "Said Rumohr.
Some of the districts where automatic weather stations will be installed include; Bugaya, Kawongo, Kayunga, Kidera, Kiige, Namasagali, Ngora, Palisa, Lira, Serere and Soroti.
The weather stations are being installed under a three years project entitled strengthening Meteorological products services and use in the Agriculture and water sectors (SMEPS) funded by the German Development Cooperation and USAID.
The US $4.1m project which started in June 2014 and implemented by GIZ is aimed at easing the work of the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) to provide accurate weather forecast.
Under the project renovation of the data archive room was done to act as a custodian for meteorological information needed for public consumption.
According to the director of the Directorate of environmental Affairs Paul Mafabi, issues of Elnino brought mixed feeling where farmers were being misinformed about the accurate information of climate change.
"With the acquisition of this equipment, this will improve on accurate weather forecast for better weather update in the country, "he said.