TANZANIA and Malawi recently secured funds aimed at promoting provision of adopted best practices in climate services.
The 10 million US dollar (about 15bn/-) boost was provided by Norway where part of it will be spent to facilitate implementation of Climate Service Adaptation Programme in Africa, building resilience in disaster management, food security, nutrition and health in Tanzania.
Opening the workshop ahead of the kick off of the programme, the Minister for Transport, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, said enhanced adaptive capacity to impacts of climate change and climate variability was very important.
"Cross cutting areas like agriculture, health and disaster risk reduction were likely to benefit from the support for the socio-economic development of the country," he said in a speech read on his behalf by the Director of Transportation Infrastructure, Mr Edwin Mujwahuzi.
The minister said climate variability and climate change still present great challenges to many countries in Africa, Tanzania inclusive, with recent reports projecting an increased frequency and magnitude of extreme weather and climate events.
He underscored the importance of well established early warning systems comprising timely and accurate weather and climate forecasts and early warnings of natural hazards coupled with adequate preparedness.
Others include coordination and cooperation between responsible agencies, institutions, officials, the media, political leaders and other players at local, national and international levels.
According to the minister, if development programmes are well designed with national and local actors playing a key role in the planning and implementation of climate risk management, societies would be better engaged and more committed to such programmes.
Dr Mwakyembe thanked the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) for its efforts in assisting member states to play their roles in provision of meteorological services, but challenged it to increase more assistance particularly for supporting developing countries.
Earlier, the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) Director General, Dr Agness Kijazi, said the grant from Norway is the first multi-agency initiative to be implemented under the Global Framework for Climate Service (GFCS).
She said the boost came following the climate change conference (COP 19) that took place in Warsaw, Poland November last year and will surely assist Tanzania in enhancing availability of wide range of data and climate change services for better access to all available data and information.
"Furthermore, it will empower the meteorological services to better serve our key customers, in particular the agriculture sector and authorities responsible for disaster management in the country," she said.
The DG said the meeting will ignite National Consultations leading to establishment of the national framework for climate services, as well as forming a National Steering Committee with representation of some key stakeholders.
The WMO representative, Mr Wayne Elliot, commended Tanzania for meeting international criteria that was set for the countries to receive the funds.