By ORU LEONARD
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO) of The Netherlands to develop a robust network of Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) in the country. This in furtherance of the agency’s determination to provide efficient and reliable Meteorological information to the various sectors of the economy.
The collaboration, which will be for 5 years in the first instance, is also aimed at advancing TAHMO’s vision to improve Sub-Saharan Africa’s capacity for hydro-Meteorological monitoring.
Speaking at the signing ceremony that took place in Abuja, a visibly elated Director-General of NiMet, Prof. Sani Abubakar Mashi, said the partnership will increase the density of NiMet’s network of stations and enhance its goal of one weather station per 100 kilometers, in compliance with the standard stipulated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
He said the project takes off immediately with the delivery of 100 Automatic Weather Stations by TAHMO to be installed across the country at no cost to the Agency. He, however, revealed that subsequent implementation of the project will be through a joint funding arrangement to achieve the goal of 1000 AWS.
The DG/CEO emphasized that the project will support and boost NiMet’s education and research partners, as well as assist in the provision of educational materials on climate and hydrology for schools located close to the AWS.
Prof. Mashi thanked the TAHMO team for initiating the partnership and enjoined both parties to put their best efforts and act in good faith to ensure the full realization of the objectives of the MoU.
In her response, Els Veenhoven, the coordinator of TAHMO said TAHMO is active in 20 countries in Africa with meteorological services aimed at developing a vast network of weather stations across the continent.
According to her “TAHMO will be working with NiMet to increase density of ground observation stations to help improve local weather forecasts, which will be transformed into useful information for government, researchers, mining industries, oil and gas and many others by NiMet with the support of TAHMO”.
Another important aspect of the partnership is that both parties will jointly utilize the revenue generated from the sale of data under the project to maintain and grow the network of AWS in pursuance of TAHMO’s mission for Sub-Saharan Africa.