Western Province local officials pledged their support in sensitizing citizens on use of meteorological information

From 13 to 17th June 2016, Rwanda Meteorology Agency (Meteo Rwanda) conducted one-week training workshops with local officials in Western Province.  

 

The workshops were conducted in seven districts of the province, namely: Rubavu, Nyabihu, Ngororero, Rutsiro, Rusizi, Nyamasheke and Karongi.

 

The vision of Meteo Rwanda is to provide accurate and timely weather and climate information. However, when it comes to dissemination of weather and climate information, a large number of Rwandan citizens do not access and use weather information.

 

Apart from increasing the number of media houses that disseminate weather information, Meteo Rwanda embarked on conducting workshops with local officials at district level as an effective channel to reach a larger number of citizens. 

 

During the one-week workshops, local officials hailed Meteo Rwanda for improvements that are being realized from Rwanda weather services.

 

Commenting on the workshops, Mr. Livingstone Byandaga, the Project Manager with METEO RWANDA FONERWA Project said that engaging local officials is part of the whole target of the project that aims to improve the range of weather and climate information available to inform decision makers at all levels in Rwanda.

Officials who participated in the workshops included: District Mayors and Vice Mayors, District Executive Secretaries, representatives of REMA, MIDIMAR, RED CROSS, Cooperatives, RDF, RNP and NGOs at both District and Sector levels. 

 

Twahirwa Anthony, Division Manager of Weather/Climate Services and application Division said that during the workshops strong partnership was initiated and local officials agreed to be ambassadors of Meteo Rwanda and committed to share the weather and climate information with the people they govern.

 

“Strong partnership was also developed in safeguarding meteorological stations in their respective districts as some of them used to vandalize them due to lack of information on how useful the weather stations are.” Anthony reiterated.

 

 

Among suggestions from citizens, Meteo Rwanda was urged to increase awareness campaigns on the use of weather and climate information, provide weather information early enough for disaster risk reduction and mitigation, establish the meteorological station at least to each sector and downscale the weather forecast to each district among others.

 

Ndayambaje Godefroid, the Mayor of Ngororero District, said the training on weather services will enable local officials to tackle weather related disasters.

“We appreciate the training as residents of Ngororero one of areas prone to disasters. If we had this information in the March to May 2016 season, we would have reduced disasters that affected our district”.

 

The project intends to leave at least one million households accessing weather and climate information in a period of 3 years.

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