By ORU LEONARD, Abuja
The West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) has dedicated 10 Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) to NiMet out of the 50 earmarked for the West African region. This is in fulfillment of its mandate to support countries in all areas related to climate change and adapted land use.
This was disclosed during the visit of Dr. Seyni Salack, the Coordinator, Observation Networks and Seasonal Forecasting, WASCAL, to NiMet headquarters.
The DG /CEO NiMet, Prof. Sani Abubakar Mashi, who was visibly elated at this development, disclosed that NiMet currently has 54 network stations, which he described as grossly inadequate. He reiterated that the principal focus of the agency is to increase the density of observation stations spread across the country in line with World Meteorological Organization guideline of one AWS per 100 kilometer.
“One of the principal focus of the agency right now is to see that we increase the density. We are being very ambitious. We are hoping that before the end of the year, we want to increase it from less than 100 to 1000.” He said.
Mashi, who revealed that NiMet is the first meteorological agency in Africa to be ISO 9001:2015 certified, promised to maintain the standard and pledged to cooperate and support all activities of WASCAL.
Earlier in his remark, Dr. Seyni Salack, explained that his mission to NiMet, is to asses the national observation networks that are available particularly, the weather and climate observation network and see how WASCAL can support NiMet to upgrade and increase the numbers and be able to manage the whole system together. He noted that the joint production and ownership is also to enable WASCAL solve research questions because it is a research institution.
As part of the partnership, WASCAL engaged NiMet technical officers in a three day workshop on Weather/ Climate, Infrastructure and Services. Participants were drawn from the following departments; Weather Forecasting, Applied Meteorological, Information Communication Technology and Engineering.
Mr Salack, who coordinated the workshop, expressed WASCAL’s readiness to partner with the agency in the area of capacity building, research and development as well as data sharing.
The workshop featured specific objectives of WASCAL, which seeks to evaluate and rehabilitate existing Equipment/Sites /Observatories, increase the number of observation sites, skills, train technical staff involved in observations and related services.
WASCAL is designed to help tackle climate change challenge and enhance the resilience of human and environmental systems to climate change and increased variability. It does so by strengthening the research infrastructure and capacity in West Africa.
WASCAL is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and implemented in a collaborative effort by West African and German partners.