By Devota Mwachang’a
Tanzanian Minister for Works, Transport and Communication Makame Mbarawa congratulated Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF) for facilitating a better understanding of the links between the climate system and socio-economic activities.
Speaking in Zanzibar at the official opening ceremony of the Forty Seventh GHACOF recently, the Minister: “I was informed the GHACOF process has facilitated a better understanding of the links between the climate system and socio-economic activities therefore I take this opportunity to congratulate you for this achievement.”
The GHACOF 47 has a theme “Preparedness for potential El Niño event and its related impacts in the Greater Horn of Africa Region”. It involved participation of both climate scientists as providers and sector specific institutions as users of climate services, with the aim of having a consensus regional climate outlook for the coming rainfall season.
According to Mbarawa, the forum resulted into an increasing demand for climate services and awareness among Tanzanian.
He said it has been created that climate information, including short-range climate predictions, is an essential element in mitigating against the impacts of climate variations and change.
Minister of Works, Transport and Communication, Hon. Prof Makame Mbarawa (MP) on a group photo with participants of the Forty Seventh Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF47) at Zanzibar Beach Resort, Zanzibar, 21-22 August 2017
Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) Director General Dr. Agnes Kijazi clarified that the main objective to the forum was to develop consensus regional climate outlook for the October to December 2017 rainfall season and formulate mitigation strategies on the implications of the projected seasonal climate outlook on the key socio-economic sectors in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA).
“At the end of the forum and the release of regional bulletin, TMA and all National Meteorological Services in the region will come up with country specific forecast and early warning in case of expected disaster,” she said.
Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) Director General Dr. Agnes Kijazi
However, Dr. Kijazi said TMA is expecting to release a detailed outlook for use at national level on 31st August 2017.
For his part, ICPAC Director, Dr. Guleid Artan mentioned that ICPAC in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is implementing an Integrated Regional Early Warning System (IREWS).
He said the goal is to enhance the capacity of the Member States to reduce climate-induced risks and build resilience to disasters in the region through the production and dissemination of reliable and actionable early warning information in a timely and coordinated manner.
Dr. Artan added that ICPAC is similarly making contribution in the region regarding climate change adaptation. Through support from USAID, ICPAC has been able to support member states in the creation of long-term good quality climate data for use in developing climate change scenarios.
The District Commissioner for Western ‘A’ District Mwinyi Ussi Abdallah Hassani speaking on behalf of the Regional Commissioner urban West, Zanzibar reminded the society the need to migrate from old way of accessing weather information and make use of new technologies for better utilization of meteorological products.
Last year, ICPAC was admitted as an observer organization to the UNFCCC process. The WMO Executive Council that was held in May 2017 designated ICPAC as WMO Regional Climate Centre for Eastern Africa. This month ICPAC was admitted to join AU/NEPAD Central and Eastern African Network of Water Centres of Excellence.