Kenya to host regional Climate Centre

At a glance
-Africa has established African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology as a high level mechanism  for development of met services in the region.
-African Ministers and technocrats responsible for meteorology are meeting for the first time in Nairobi to devise climate mitigation strategies against extreme weather conditions.
-Climate change is a global concern with human activities leading to increasing global warming that is changing climate patterns around the world.

Subsaharan africa will finally enjoy globally accepted climate surveillance services and data by end of 2010.

Kenya will host a regional climate centre to serve 10 countries in the sub-saharan African region.This follows plans by the World Meteorological Organisation to establish regional climate centres across the world to boost  mitigation of natural disasters.

The regional centre has already got an initial injection of $2.5m from the Korean Government towards capacity building and infrastructure  development across  member countries.

Prof Laban Ogallo, Director, Climate Predictions and Applications Centre (ICPAC) said plans are underway to enahnce capacity at the centre to levels approved by the World Meteorological Organisation.

End of 2010

“By end of this year, ICPAC shall have attained attributes of a WMO-endorsed regional climate centre,” said Ogallo.

Signing the memorandum of association between Korea Meteorological Administration and the centre yesterday, Director, Kenya Meteorological Department, Joseph Mukabana said Africa needs to upscale her weather forecast  techniques with latest technologies of international standards.

Michel Jarrard, WMO Secretary-General called on African governments to invest more on climate monitoring to avert  natural disasters.

“Meteorology is a science without borders. Africa needs to cooperate with other regions to boost climate surveillance. Currently most african countries do not even have 25.5 per cent of what is required by WMO in terms of equipment and human resources for climate watch,” decried Jarrard.

“All economic sectors are affected by climate change. Meteorological setrvices in Africa have very low visibilty at international level. All countries need right technology to interpret meteorological information for application in all sectors of the economy,” he said.

Korea invests

The partnership between Korea and Igad will improve weather services in this region by making  Igad Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) a regional climate centre,” said Byung Chun of Korea Meteorological Agency.

The overall goal of the collaboration is to facilitate exchanges of resources, personnel and technical knowledge to support the improvement or development of cliamte variability and change adaptation operations between countries.

All the ten countries of the intergovernmental authority on development (Igad)  Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda Burundi, Somalia Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Sudan,  shall benfit from high standard weather forecast data to enahance eerly intervention mecahnisms for natural disasters.
African Ministers
Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural economy and Agriculture, at the African Union Commission, said Africa Ministers responsible for meteorology shall develop a two-year action plan for enhancing cooperation in the region to strengthen capabilities of their national Meteorological Services.

In a new declaration, the the minister s have requested the African Union commission to bring resolutions reached at the ongoing WMO meeting for Africa, in Nairobi, to the attention of the AU Summit in July this year.

Official statistics from WMO show that there are increasing risks and threats to sustainable development, associated with disaters of which 90 per cent are due to or aggravated by meteorological or hydrological extreme events.

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