Weather, Climate Events Militated Against Africa Despite Investment- NiMet Boss

By Stella Enenche, Abuja

The Director General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Professor Charles Anosike said weather and climate events has continued to affect Africa despite huge investments in climate science and operational forecasting over the past century.

Professor Anosike disclosed this on Monday while declaring open the 2024 Edition of the Regional workshop in Abuja.

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He said the outcome of the Workshop on Seasonal Forecasts of Agro-hydro-climatic characteristics of the rainy season for the Sudanian and Sahelian zones of West Africa and the Sahel (PRESASS), would strengthen regional seasonal forecasting.

He applauded AGRHYMET and ACMAD for sustaining the Regional Climate Outlook since 1998.

The Professor said, “this year’s Regional Climate Outlook is timely because weather and climate events continue to take a toll on our region despite the tremendous advances and investments in climate science and operational forecasting over the past century.

“Weather-related hazards, including early/late onset of rainy seasons, droughts, floods and extended periods of extreme temperatures trigger and account for a greater proportion of disaster losses”.

He reminded the participants that; “The Nigerian Meteorological Agency released NiMet’s Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) on February 20th 2024, which continues to serve as an Early Warning tool to ensure improved preparedness for climate disasters, protect lives, and critical national assets toward sustainable economic development.

Concluding, Professor Anosike said; “PRESSAS provides the platform for a unified regional seasonal climate outlook and reinforces our determination to collaboratively address climate disasters and accelerate climate action. We must continue to work together to strengthen the PRESSAS project as the region looks forward to this vital early warning tool every year”.

In his goodwill message, the representative of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), for West, Central and North Africa, Dr Benard Gomez who was represented by Dr. Rowland Abah said that, “Within the 50 years of existence of AGRHYMET, there has been greater understanding of the climate risk in the Sahel, West Africa and Africa, and how it affects food security and other associated climate -sensitive livelihood activities. National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in these regions have also benefited immensely from forecasts and training activities provided by AGRHYMET”.

In his remarks, the Director General of Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, (NIHSA), Engineer Clement Nze, observed that the workshop, “Is a testament to our commitment to use scientific methods and processes to tackle hydro-climatic challenges of this day and age”.

He also said that the PRESASS when scaled down to national level, often agrees with the predictions made and serves as the complementary tool for disaster risk management.

In his goodwill remarks, the Director General of AGRHYMET, Dr. Abdul Ali , who used the opportunity to express gratitude to the federal government, NiMet and NiHSA, said; “All actors including decision makers and farmers are waiting for any information that will enable them to plan for the rainy season more effectively“.

Dr. Ali warned that data from the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), and its partners, stated that more than 50 million people will experience food crisis in the region during the upcoming lean season from June to August, if appropriate measures are not taken.

The event which brings together 16 countries from the West African region is taking place in Abuja and will last from 22nd to 26th April, 2024.

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