Rema installs early warning systems

Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (Rema) has installed 22 modern meteorological early warning systems.According to Coletha Ruhamya, the deputy director general of REMA, the Automatic Weather Stations   worth about US$ 800,000 (approx Rwf510.5m) will enable various organisations to monitor and address issues relating to weather changes.
A family, whose house was destroyed by rain in Gatsata sector recently, tries to salvage some property from the rubble.   The New Times/T. Kisambira.
A family, whose house was destroyed by rain in Gatsata sector recently, tries to salvage some property from the rubble. The New Times/T. Kisambira.

Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (Rema) has installed 22 modern meteorological early warning systems.

According to Coletha Ruhamya, the deputy director general of REMA, the Automatic Weather Stations   worth about US$ 800,000 (approx Rwf510.5m) will enable various organisations to monitor and address issues relating to weather changes.

Ruhamya disclosed this in Kigali yesterday as she opened a training workshop for officers from different institutions on the use of the  Automatic Weather Stations.

“Early action can help prevent loss of life and damage to infrastructure. The stations will also help to prepare for disasters and take the appropriate measures at the right time,” she said.

According to Ruhamya, the new equipment will minimise effects of abrupt weather changes during the season which normally affect growth and crop yields.

The system will also help determine delays in rains, untimely or excessive rains, droughts, or spells of too-high or too-low temperatures.

Seven of the 22 stations, according to Alphonse Mutabazi, the Climate Change Programme Manager at Rema, will serve to ascertain the level and the temperature of water whereas the remaining ones are for monitoring the temperature and humidity of soil.

Besides the 22 stations, two other mobile facilities will be used to check their efficiency.

Mutabazi said the equipment are fixed with SIM cards and gather the information on weather which it sends to a server in Rwanda Meteorological Agency, which, in turn,  shares it with the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees Affairs (Midimar) and other relevant institutions for timely response in case of disaster warning.

According to Mutabazi, the new warning systems are expected to reduce the consequences of climate change by 50 per cent and that there are two technicians to look after the tools.

Timely


The equipment, according to Faustin Munyazikwiye, Director of Climate Change, International Obligations Unit at Rwanda Meteorological Agency are timely as they will reinforce the existing ones.

“If the number of equipment to predict weather change increases, the weather forecast becomes more accurate and effective too and people can do their routines in safety,” Munyazikwiye said.

According to Midimar, 37 people have died countrywide and another 45 sustained injuries due to natural disasters, mainly floods and landslides caused by heavy rains between January and April.

Over 1,600 houses and 660 hectares of crops were also destroyed over the same period of time.

One of the equipment will be stationed in Bigogwe, Nyabihu district, one of the disaster prone- areas where floods have previously claimed lives and destroyed crops.  Others will be stationed in Nyagatare, Kirehe, in Eastern Province and Rutongo in Kigali among other places.

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