Under-staffed meteorology unit cries out for funding

ENVIRONMENT - The national weather forecast station where meteorologists monitor climate changes in the country is short of manpower to effectively handle the task, a meteorology director has said.

ENVIRONMENT -

 The national weather forecast station where meteorologists monitor climate changes in the country is short of manpower to effectively handle the task, a meteorology director has said.

The station is located in Gitega, a Kigali City suburb.

John Ntaganda, the Director of Meteorology Unit in the Ministry of Infrastructure, said recently that the station lacks technicians and gadgets for effective recording of required weather data in the whole country. 

“You can’t forecast weather changes effectively when you’re lacking climate watchers to perform the task,” Ntaganda said.

The station has sixteen contracted staff workers to analyse data from three sub-stations of Kamembe, Gisenyi, Huye and Busogo in Western, Southern and Northern Provinces respectively, which operate for only twelve hours.

Only Kanombe has the capacity to monitor country’s weather conditions for twenty-four hours.

Ntaganda said that the station is in dire need of adequate human resources and equipment to fully execute its duties in regard to the global climate change concerns.

Being ill-equipped, Ntaganda said, leads to inadequate gathering of weather change data at national level and makes unreliable predictions.

Among the difficulties mentioned by the chief meteorologist is the lack of Global Telecommunication System (GTS) used between various weather stations worldwide to exchange meteorology data.

“We are lacking GTS to enable us communicate with our counterparts worldwide about simultaneous weather conditions over a large area,” he explained.

He said that meteorological information exchange is a global affair that must be conducted simultaneously by all concerned parties.

He explained further: “With the help of GTS, we can be able to transmit our national level weather data and at same time receive the comparable global recordings. It helps us make best use of our services for the benefit of entire world society.”

He, however, remains hopeful that his unit would persuade the government and other funding partners to provide more support of the new plan for meteorological centres to make the necessary reforms.

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