NiMet HOST WMO WORKSHOP FOR HYDROLOGY AND WATER RESOURCES EXPERTS IN AFRICA
Cross section of participants at the 12th Session of the WMO (RA-1) Working Group on Hydrology and Water Resource Experts in Abuja ________________________________________________________________________
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet recently hosted the 12th Session of the World Meteorological Organization Regional Association -1 (RA-1) Working Group on Hydrology and Water Resources in Abuja.
In his welcome address, the Director-General/CEO of NiMet, Prof. Sani Mashi, who was represented by the Director Applied Meteorological Services, Engr. Mailadi Yusuf told participants that the current flooding ravaging most parts of the world especially in developing countries, is due largely to increase in rainfall intensities and durations but more importantly to the lack of a proper mechanism to anticipate and predict the volume of run-off that will be generated as a consequence of the two phenomena.
Mashi said the memories of the 2012, 2016, 2017 & 2018 flood episodes that destroyed properties in some parts of the country is still fresh, unfortunately, most developing countries have failed to effectively institute an early warning working framework that will utilize the predictions of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) in averting anticipated disasters. He also used the opportunity to appreciate the WMO and the RA-1 for their continuous support for programs and activities of weather, climate and water issues and hopes that the Workshop will bring out suggestions on how least developed countries can utilize the various predictions and forecasts products that NMHSs develop.
The chairman of the Working Group, Dr. Ashraf Abdelmogod, while declaring the workshop open, said Africa is suffering a lot from climate change issues either from drought and desertification due to climate and also increase of water. He urged the participants to focus on hydrology issues relating to water resources. “We are aware of the reforms in the WMO to reduce its commission to two instead of the eight commission as it is now, so the outcome of the workshop will determine its success for the benefit of our countries”.
Dr. Bernard Gomez, North Central & West Africa Representative in the WMO expressed displeasure at the silence of member countries in participating actively in terms of development in their various countries on the WMO website. Only about 35 out of 191 members participate actively, that means that more than 75% are silent, he added.
Other experts who made presentations at the workshop include, Tom Kamyinke, Ministry of water & Environment, Uganda; Ntonga Jeane-Claude, Hydrological Research Centre, Cameroun; Mohammed Sylla, Director National Hydro, Guinee Conakry and Ernest Afiesimama, Programme Manager, Offices for Africa and least Developed Countries at the WMO Geneva.
The workshop is for the Working Group to better formulate hydrological and water resource issues into technical and high level policies for the 17th Session of RA-1 as recommended by the Working Group at the 3rd Session of the RA-1 Management Group meeting in Geneva Switzerland from 16-17 June 2018.