Keyamo Solicits Accurate, Early Weather Information To Tackle Climate Challenges

By Stella Enenche, Abuja

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo has said in other to tackle climate challenges, it is important that weather and climate information are produced accurately and disseminated early to Nigerians.

Keyamo made the call on Friday at the closing ceremony of the Seasonal forecasting workshop for agro-hydro climatic characteristics for Sahelian and Sudanian Zones of West Africa and the Sahel ( PRESASS 24) in Abuja.

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He urged participants at the forum to downscale outcome of the workshop to their local communities.

Keyamo said,“ the outcome of the Regional Climate Outlook Forum for West Africa and the Sahel is a great planning tool for governments and policymakers across the region. We are very aware of the great challenge of the 21st Century, climate change, extreme weather events and food security to mention a few.

“To combat these challenges, it has become imperative that weather and climate information are not only accurate but also produced and disseminated early. Thus, the need for Early Warnings. It is based on this that the Nigerian Government deemed it fit to provide all the necessary support through the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) and AGRHYMET Regional Centre to host this year’s forum here in Abuja”.

He added that,” the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has taken seriously the issuance of Early Warnings for its citizenry to de-risk sectoral activities and avert losses. Earlier in the year, the Government through NiMet had a public presentation of the Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP), an early warning tool that highlights vital Weather and Climate information that may affect socio-economic activities in air, land, and water transportation, agriculture, water resources, disaster management and mitigation, health, tourism, sports, power & energy etc. A similar event was recently held by NIHSA where the Annual Flood Outlook was released to Nigerians”.

“As we settle down to listen and discuss the details of the forecast produced for West Africa and the Sahel Region for the 2024 rainy season, my message is that as we return home to our various countries with the informationand forecast from this year’s forum, we should ensure that these products don’t end up inside the shiny offices in our capital cities.

“The real work of downscaling them to our local and rural communities just started. This is the only way the United Nations’ target of Early Warning for All (EW4ALL) by 2027 can be met”, Mr Keyamo concluded.

In his remarks, the Director General Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Professor Charles Anosike, commended AGRHYMET and ACMAD for sustaining the Regional Climate Outlook since 1998.

He congratulated them and the local organising committee for putting together a successful forum.

Mr. Rowland Abah who represented the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Representative for North, Central and West Africa, said; “The output of this workshop provides additional Early Warning information for the countries in West Africa and the Sahel to support localized forecast and effective planning to mitigate climate-related hazards envisaged in 2024”.

Concluding, Mr. Abah remarked that; “Climate change poses existential threats, and this is why the United Nations Secretary General has urged all countries to ensure that Early Warning Systems cover all citizens by the year 2027”.

The Director General of Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Clement Nze, and other representatives of other related agencies were present at the closing ceremony.

This year’s PRESASS brought together participants from 16 countries from the West African region and lasted from 22nd to 26th April, 2024.

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