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70 Automatic weather stations to be installed

By Agnes Nantambi

Added 28th January 2016 10:17 AM

The joint project worth about sh3.5b will also empower local communities and vulnerable agriculturalists across the drought prone cattle corridor, the accident prone areas of Lake Victoria, Kyoga and Wamala and Uganda's flash flood prone highlands.

70 Automatic weather stations to be installed

The operator of an automatic weather station in Masindi explains how weather is monitored and changes over time to a group of people from civil society and the ministry of water and environment. Photos/Agnes Nantambi

The joint project worth about sh3.5b will also empower local communities and vulnerable agriculturalists across the drought prone cattle corridor, the accident prone areas of Lake Victoria, Kyoga and Wamala and Uganda's flash flood prone highlands.



By Agnes Nantambi  

About 70 Automatic weather stations will be installed across the country to build resilience in climate induced shocks.

They will be installed under the Global Resilience Partnership which is implementing the meteorological early warning systems to build resilience to acute climate shocks project.

The stations are intended to detect lightning and observe other climate variables such as precipitation, wind speed, temperature and barometric pressure.

The joint project worth about sh3.5b will also empower local communities and vulnerable agriculturalists across the drought prone cattle corridor, the accident prone areas of Lake Victoria, Kyoga and Wamala and Uganda's flash flood prone highlands.

According to Prof. John Selker, the Co-Director of the Trans-Africa Hydro Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO), the data from the weather stations will be used to produce forecasts, including severe storm predictions. 

 he chairman of the board of directors obert utaagi chats with rof ohn elker the  odirector of the regon tate niversity hotognes antambi The chairman of the board of directors Robert Rutaagi(R) chats with Prof John Selker(L), the Co-director of the Oregon State University USA.Photo/Agnes Nantambi

 
He explained that the team will partner with mobile operators and the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) to provide low cost, on demand access to weather alerts and free access to all 8 million airtel subscribers.

He said: "Over the next two years the project will implement an early warning system in Uganda to give critical warnings to fishermen on Lake Victoria where 5000 people drown annually due to severe weather".

Selker, a professor of Oregon State University USA observed that early warning systems are critical tools for saving lives and reducing economic losses from floods, storms, droughts and other related hazards.

"Five-ten day forecasts have been shown to increase farmers' resilience and increase incomes in the face of drought conditions, "he added.

He revealed that they had been studying hydrologic systems across Africa since 1980, but were consistently held back by lack of available data emphasizing that the project will help in addressing the problem.

 

he operator explains how the soil temperatures are monitored during and after the dry spell The operator explains how the soil temperatures are monitored during and after the dry spell.

 



Officiating at the launch of the project, the chairman of the UNMA, Robert Rutaagi said the project will help the Authority to fulfil its mandate.

"Our mandate is quite huge yet our challenge is resources, we have enough professional manpower but the infrastructure is still much needed in order to enhance our service delivery," he said.

Elephaz  Baziira, the chairman technical committee of the board of directors UNM said that  the partnership project will assist the communities  learn and investigate the impacts of weather occurrences.

"Temperatures are increasing, storms have become more severe and we must put in appropriate action. We are gland and we shall make use of all the equipment since you have come a long way to help the country, "he said.



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