The Steering Committee on High Impact Weather Lake System (HIGHWAY) project meets in Geneva
The Steering Committee meeting on High Impact Weather Lake System (HIGHWAY) project was convened in Geneva, Switzerland at World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretariat from 22nd to 24th January 2019.
The purpose of the HIGHWAY project is to deliver the provision of regular weather forecasts and severe weather warnings for fishing boats and small transport vessels on Lake Victoria.
According to WMO, up to 5 000 people drown on Lake Victoria every year as boats get caught in storms.
Reports indicate that Lake Victoria currently lacks effective early warning systems to protect those who depend on it. The National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of the countries bordering the Lake (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania) forecast for their own sectors of the lake. A key driver for the HIGHWAY project is to coordinate meteorological services for the Lake and its basin, with potentially one centralized operational Centre utilizing all available information and data from the whole basin.
Meteo Rwanda was represented in the meeting by Mr. MBATI MUGUNGA Mathieu, Acting Division Manager of Weather/Climate Services and Application and Highway Steering committee member and Mr. Joseph NDAKIZE SEBAZIGA, Forecasting Officer and HIGHWAY focal point.
Commenting on the workshop, Mr. MBATI reiterated Meteo Rwanda’s commitment to contribute to the development of Early Warning Services for Lake Victoria and more technical support from the project funds.
Ladislas Chang’a Tanzanian based Researcher on Climate Services said that robust Early Warning System that integrates the concept of co-designing and co-production in generation, dissemination and utilization of early warning information is instrumental for serving life and properties and for speeding socio-economic development.
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The HIGHWAY project is being delivered by the World Meteorological Organization working with partners including the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda as well as the East African Community (EAC) and the Lake Victoria Basin Commission.