In fulfillment of its mandate to support countries in the West African sub-region in all areas of climate change and adapted land use, the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) has dedicated 10 Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) to the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) out of the 50 set aside for the region.
The director general and chief executive of NiMet, Prof. Sani Mashi disclosed this in Abuja when WASCAL’s coordinator, observation networks and seasonal forecasting, Dr. Seyni Salack visited NiMet headquarters.
Mashi who appreciated the gesture promised to maintain the standard, cooperate and support all the WASCAL activities
The director general who described as “grossly inadequate” the present 54 network stations operated by NiMet operates stressed that the agency principal focus “is to increase the density of observation stations spread across the country in line with World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 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 will increase it from less than 100 to 1000,” he said.
Earlier in his remarks, Salack said he was at NiMet to assess the national observation networks that are available particularly, the weather and climate observation networks and see how WASCAL could support NiMet to upgrade and increase the number and be able to manage the whole system together.
He said 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 weather forecasting, applied meteorological, information communication technology and engineering departments.
The WASCAL coordinator, who coordinated the workshop, expressed his organisation’s readiness to partner with NiMet in capacity building, research and development as well as data sharing.
The workshop featured WASCAL’s specific objectives, which seek to evaluate and rehabilitate existing equipment/sites /observatories, increase the number of observation sites, skills, train technical staff involved in observation 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.
The organization is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and implemented in a collaborative effort by West African and German partners.