The Rwanda Meteorology Agency has committed to improve the quality of the climate and weather data provided to citizens and make it available to as many people as possible. The agency will also begin issuing weather hazards warnings, such as where and when floods, severe storms, or droughts are likely to take place.
These commitments were made at the seventh Meteorological Technical Working Group meeting held in collaboration with UNDP Rwanda. During the meeting, whose main objective was to set priorities for the new six years strategic plan, the participants reviewed the achievements of the last five years and discussed how best to tackle the goals not yet reached.
Some of these achievement include:
- Installing 100 automatic rainfall stations
- Completing 41 automatic weather stations
- Installing 1 C-band weather radar system
- Developing 163 manual weather stations
- Acquiring and implementing an improved data management system known as CLIMSOFT
- Introducing a modern forecasting system known as PUMA
In his remarks, Director General of the Rwanda Meteorological Agency, John Ntaganda Semafara, reiterated the importance of reliable climate information for the country:
“The work we do is essential to all sectors of the economy because it supports safe and efficient development. Weather and climate information is vital to many stakeholders and is instrumental to the green development we desire in this era of changes to our climate.”
One sector that uses meteorological information is agriculture, which requires knowledge of the start and end of rainfall seasons, daily rainfall as well as temperature and humidity ranges for harvest storage and other purposes.
Over the next six years, some of the key priorities for Meteo Rwanda include:
- Better application of weather and climate warnings and forecasts
- Better use of weather and climate products and services
- Improve availability and accessibility of quality weather and climate data and information services
Achieving these goals will help to improve the safety of life and property, support Rwanda’s socio-economic and sustainable development and also provide world class climate information that will be of use to researchers, planners and decision makers.
Speaking on behalf of the UNDP Country Director, Reina Otsuka, appreciated that the Ministry of Natural Resources is working closely with them to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Weather information is very critical to the achievement of sustainable development at the national level and I am pleased that UNDP will work with the ministry to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals relevant to the sector and incorporate them into the new six year strategic plan,” said Reina.