East Africa urged to strengthen cooperation on severe weather forecasting


What you need to know:

  • Tanzania, through TMA, was chosen by the WMO to host a Regional Centre for severe weather forecasting guidance for Lake Victoria Basin countries

Dar es Salaam. East African nations are urged to bolster cooperation in tackling emerging weather challenges, particularly during severe weather events.

This call to action came from Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) chairman Mashibe Bakari during the official opening of the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) Severe Weather Forecasting Program Steering Committee meeting for East African member states.

"Enhanced cooperation will allow WMO member countries in the East African Community to improve weather services, ultimately reducing the impact of severe weather incidents," said Mr Bakari.

Collaboration benefits

He made the remarks on behalf of TMA’s Acting Director General of TMA and Zanzibar, Masoud Faki

Mr Faki highlighted the benefits Tanzania has reaped through the Severe Weather Forecasting Program.

These include training for experts and joint operational guidelines, which have significantly improved national-level weather forecasting.

Furthermore, Mr Faki noted Tanzania's selection by the WMO in 2019 to operate the Regional Centre for providing severe weather forecasting guidance to Lake Victoria Basin countries (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi).

Meeting focuses on early warning

The meeting gathered experts from Tanzania, Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, and South Sudan. Their primary focus was enhancing early warning systems, specifically for severe weather events in the East African Community.

This initiative aims to reduce fatalities associated with weather hazards.

A WMO representative commended the Tanzanian government for organising and hosting this crucial meeting, emphasising its timely nature.

"This meeting holds great significance," he said. "Climate change has demonstrably caused an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather and climate events, leading to higher risks of losses and damages."