• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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BusinessDay

NiMet drives regional climate resilience with PRESASS 2024 success

NiMet warns of meningitis, malaria outbreak from adverse weather

By Precious Mark

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) is spearheading a regional effort to strengthen seasonal forecasting capabilities across West Africa and the Sahel.

This commitment was demonstrated through the successful conclusion of the Regional Forum Workshop on Seasonal Forecasts for the region, PRESASS, held in Abuja from April 22nd to 26th, 2024.

Festus Keyamo, minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, emphasized the critical role of disseminating accurate climate information to local communities during the closing ceremony of PRESASS.

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He stressed the need for early warning systems to mitigate climate-related challenges and ensure sustainable socio-economic development.

“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 information and 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,” Keyamo said.

Read also: NiMet advises Nigerian Farmers to prepare for diverse weather conditions

Charles Anosike, Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of NiMet, highlighted the significance of PRESASS in strengthening regional seasonal forecasting capabilities.

He commended the efforts of Agro-Hydro-Clinate Meteorology (AGRHYMET) and the African Centre of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD) in maintaining the Regional Climate Outlook since its inception in 1998.

Anosike also emphasized the importance of NiMet’s Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) as a critical early warning tool, released earlier in February 2024, which enables proactive disaster preparedness measures and sustainable economic development.

Rowland Abah, representing Benard Gomez, the World Meteorological Organisation’s (WMO) representative for West, Central, and North Africa, commended AGRHYMET’s role in enhancing understanding of climate risks in the region.

He stressed the importance of localized forecasts in mitigating climate-related hazards and achieving universal coverage of Early Warning Systems by 2027.

Clement Nze, Director-General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), applauded PRESASS as a platform for collaborative efforts in addressing hydro-climatic challenges. He noted that PRESASS findings complement national predictions, aiding in disaster risk management.

Abdul Ali, Director-General of AGRHYMET, expressed gratitude to the Nigerian government, NiMet, and NiHSA for their contributions to the success of PRESASS. He highlighted the critical role of the information generated at the forum in enabling effective planning for the rainy season.

As the curtains close on PRESASS 2024, the collaborative efforts of the 16 participating nations signify a unified front in fortifying West Africa’s resilience against climatic threats, marking a significant milestone in regional climate resilience.