With the World Meteorological Day (WMD) celebrated on 23 March annually Rwanda Meteo Service is putting more emphasis on raising awareness about the weather forecast to help the population and agriculturists, adjust to weather changes and the climate inconsistency.
Celebrated under this year’s theme “Weather, climate and the air we breathe”, in recognition of the scientific and socio-economic benefits derived by the members of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
The WMO is comprised 188 member countries who work closely with their National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, particularly in developing countries.
To strengthen their abilities to better observe weather, climate and water-related phenomena, to produce forecasts and to make this information widely available on a timely basis.
At the national level, the event was celebrated at Notre Dame Secondary School, in Kigali and was largely attended by officials from the Ministry of Infrastructure (MINIFRA) and other officials from different sectors of the country.
Rwanda Meteo Service, which is a sub-sector in MINIFRA, joined the Meteorology body in 1963. People always talk about the weather, and we often turn on the television or radio for news on the weather.
And yet strangely enough, no one can ever be sure what the weather will be tomorrow, sometime often even the Weather Forecast offices gets it wrong. Sometimes it’s predicted to rain and it does not.
As the tradition of weather has it, “Weather is unpredictable”. Sometimes the weather is hot, or too hot, cold, rainy, and sometimes it’s a mixture of the two seasons.
In an interview with The New Times, the Coordinator of Rwanda-Meteo Service John Ntaganda Semafara, said that the service is one of the basic components of the national infrastructure, established after independence with the purpose of contributing to social, economic and environmental goals.
Global climate changes can impact water resources and the frequency of extreme events, such as floods and droughts. This means that timely, accurate, reliable and comprehensive information is required on the status of water resources.
In meteorological domain, Ntaganda said the mastery of meteorological equipments is important, in order to update the weather forecasts more frequently and sufficiently.
Ntaganda added that, the Rwanda-Meteo is also part of the government’s plan of the Rwanda’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).
“In this case, the office is trying to improve on the weather forecast operations, and has trained some of its stuff members as weather forecast experts,” Ntaganda said, adding that, “We have installed a weather forecast studio which is soon to state operating and we also broadcast weather summaries through the radios and news papers.”
Meanwhile, Rwanda is among a few countries in the world which are still surviving from natural calamities, like terrible droughts or floods, because it is near the equator, and as a result the climate does not change horribly like in the Mid East.
Agriculture planning and production depends on both weather and climate, with the amount and timing of precipitation being particularly important.
In Rwanda, rainy seasons normally start from March, September and late December, but this varies in different areas and it can rain any time of year, especially in the mountainous parts, such as, in the western part of the country.
This is basically because, in mountainous areas it is much colder than on the plains, and therefore it rains often.
Scientifically, climatic changes are caused by the geographical location of the area, and often by the earth’s processes and variations by the sun. But today, even human interference has great impact with the weather changes.
For example the disturbance of surroundings (burning of bushes and cutting of trees), and pollutions has greatly contributed to the negative weather changes.