Climate Disasters: NiMet canvasses reliable seasonal forecast for Africa

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By Gabriel Agbeja

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), has canvassed for reliable seasonal forecasts for the African sub-regions to mitigate impact of climate change.

Prof. Charles Anosike, Director General /Chief Executive Officer of NiMet made the call on Monday in Abuja, at the opening of a four-day regional climate outlook forum.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event is a forum on climate outlook and seasonal forecasting of Agro-Hydro-Climatic Characteristics of the Sahel and the Sudan Region of West Africa.

In  his welcome address, Anosike said efforts toward reliable seasonal forecasts will not only reduce the impacts of climate change, but also boost productivity across the region.

“Seasonal forecasting under increasing climate disasters can protect lives and property and this is key to achieving the United Nations Early Warnings for All.

“It is, therefore, crucial that we ensure our seasonal forecasting processes are reliable and validated to enable accurate and actionable prediction.

“We hope the outcome of this four-day exercise will provide our society with the necessary climate decision support to reduce the impact of climate disasters and boost productivity, “ he said.

He said the 2024 regional climate outlook was timely as weather and climate events continued to take a toll on the region, despite tremendous advances and investments in climate science and operational forecasting.

He listed weather related hazards to include- early or later onset of rainy seasons, droughts, floods and extended periods of extreme temperatures which trigger and account for a greater proportion of disaster losses.

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“NiMet`s Seasonal Climate Prediction on Feb. 20, will continue to serve as  an early warning tool to ensure improved preparedness for climate disasters, protect lives and critical national assets toward sustainable economic development.

“We are fully committed to the regional climate outlook forum as it provides a platform for a consensus regional forecast, “ he said.

Speaking, Mr Clement Nze, Director -General of Nigeria Hydrological Service (NIHSA), said the collaborative efforts within the region to produce a regional forecast had been useful  in providing timely information to manage resources sustainably.

“ Last week, my agency presented the 2024 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) for Nigeria.

“About 31 out of 36 states are expected to be flooded which calls for drastic early preventive actions to be taken.

“This effort is a testament to our commitment to use scientific methods and processes to tackle hydro-climatic challenges of this day and age.

“ This forum, when scaled down to national level, often agrees with the predictions made, and serves as complementary for disaster risk management,“ he added. (NAN)

Edited by Chioma Ugboma/Rotimi Ijikanmi

Philip Daniel Yatai

Principal Correspondent, NAN Abuja

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