Abuja- Dr Anthony Anuforom, Director-General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), said the agency was committed to building climate knowledge required for action through the automation of its climate observatories.
Anuforom said this while addressing newsmen during activities marking the 2015 World Meteorological Day with the theme, ‘Climate Knowledge for Climate Action’ on Monday in Abuja.
He said that NiMet had embarked on the automation of its observatories around the country, to enable it to provide climate knowledge for climate action, with six locations currently on the test run.
Anuforom said the theme of the year was timely and apt, following the completion and inauguration of NiMet’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) centre.
According to him, the computing infrastructure in the centre also provides the platform for automation of NiMet observatories nationwide.
Anuforom said the agency embarked on the projects, with support of the Federal Government, to enhance its capacity to provide services to Nigerians in the area of weather and climate information.
He said that climate affected virtually all socio-economic sectors, which include transportation, agriculture, infrastructure and health as well as other strategic resources like water, food and energy.
The NiMet boss said the negative impacts of weather and climate change could be reduced through the application of meteorological information, adding that improved climate knowledge was necessary.
“NiMet’s daily weather forecasts, weather alerts, seasonal rainfall prediction, drought and flood monitoring reports, climate review bulletin and agromet bulletin are valuable resources for decision making in weather-sensitive sectors of the economy.
“These products provide relevant local climate knowledge to support preventive actions against natural disasters that are related to weather, climate and water; and to contribute to sustainable national development.
“Using these products, farmers can make better planting, cropping and marketing decisions, water managers can optimise water supply and utilisation; manage flood and draught more effectively,” he said.
Anuforom said that climate information would also help operators in the energy sector to make operational decisions for optimum power generation and distribution.
He added that public health authorities could manage the possible consequences of weather extremes, while city planners could also develop policies and action plan to strengthen urban resilience through climate knowledge.
According to him, NiMet has been transformed and repositioned to continue contributing to climate knowledge, not only in the country but also in the sub-region and globally.
“Our weather studio has been active in producing daily public weather services, not only for Nigeria but also for some neighbouring countries.
“I think I need to inform you here that for the past three months or four, from here we produce the TV weather forecast for Sierra Leone and we stream it to them online.
“The genesis is that at the peak of the Ebola challenge in the sub-region, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) approached us that those that are rendering assistance needed weather forecast.
“The doctors and other UN officials who were in Sierra Leone needed to know weather forecast on daily basis.
“Sierra Leone did not have the capacity and it approached us if we could support from here and we started,“ he said.
Anuforom said that Liberia and the Gambia indicated interest for similar support from NiMet, adding that NiMet’s laboratory recently carried out a calibration of meteorological instruments for Ghana Meteorological Agency.(NAN)