The Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has begun collaborating with states and local government councils across the country, in order to start a zonal presentation of its seasonal rainfall prediction to ease understanding at the grassroots.
The agency disclosed that in view of the last year's flood disaster that affected most states in the federation, the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, has directed the agency to quickly begin to reach out to the communities to forestall the recurrence of such disaster.
Director General of the agency, Anthony Anuforom, disclosed this during the opening of the 3-day National Conference that herald the presentation of this year's rainfall prediction in Abuja, saying that where possible such information would be translated into vernacular so that people at grassroots will have better understanding.
Anuforom recalled that the 2012 flood disaster has "appeared to have taken people unawares despite warnings issued earlier by NIMET on the likelihood of flooding in different parts of the country. We have therefore organised this conference as part of 2013 Rainfall prediction, so as to avoid the hazards associated with severe weather and climate phenomena."
The minister of Aviation, in her keynote address, expressed dismay at the flood incidence, and stressed the need to take "proactive measures and well-coordinated collaboration among stakeholders in both government and private sectors for more effective utilisation of NIMET's early warning information."
Oduah further stated that the application of weather information for planning has effects on sectors like agriculture, water resources and aviation, hence the evolving of a "broad based National framework for Climate Services."
The three-day conference, with the theme: 'Application of Meteorological Information in Weather Risk Reduction and Socio-economic Planning', has drawn speakers from within and outside the country, including a representative from World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).