By Felix Andrew
TANZANIANS will soon start getting weather forecast updates services through their mobile phones that would enable them to arrange for their activities hence improve performance, thanks to the new initiatives proposed by the government.
Speaking yesterday from Zanzibar, the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) Director General Dr. Agnes Kijazi, said the service would be available in October this year.
She said the service would enable Tanzanians particularly farmers to get reliable weather forecast information that would enable to increase performance.
Dr Kijazi said the agency’s decision comes soon after recommendations made by the Minister for Works, Transport and Communications Prof Makame Mbarawa who wanted TMA to establish such service.
“Yes we have agreed with the recommendation, this service will reach more people everywhere because a good number of Tanzanians own mobile phones, “she said.
However, Dr Kijazi said the agency would continue to improve various services including correctness of the weather predictions which at the moment stands at 70 percent
Dr Kijazi was confident that correctness of the predictions will improve further in the future once the agency installs additional weather monitoring stations, from the current 42 centres. “At 92.9 per cent we are far above the required global standards; weather reports are important for all sectors of the economy.
TMA is determined to issue impact-based forecasts,” Dr Kijazi noted adding chances were high that the country will receive normal to above normal rains during the March-April-May season, pledging to give more details at a news conference to be held tomorrow.
The official disclosed as well that the agency is currently conducting a pilot project to down-scale weather reports to district level. “We have started with few areas but our aim is to cover all districts in the country,” he explained.
In its forecasts for the short rainfall season last year, the weather agency had predicted of average and below average rains for many parts of the country.
It as well predicted of ‘slightly hot conditions’ for the season. As per the forecast, the Lake Victoria Basin along Kagera, Geita, Shinyanga, Mwanza, Mara and Simiyu regions received moderate rain showers associated with thunderstorms in some areas.
The Northern Eastern Highlands in the regions of Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Manyara regions experienced mainly dry season while Kigoma, Katavi and Tabora regions experienced isolated rain showers.