3 July 2018

Ethiopia: Weather Forecasting Credibility

Ethiopia National Meteorology Agency (NMA) has been serving as the nation's authoritative source of providing weather forecasts for the public, marine, and aviation and the like. When conditions warrant, it also issues warnings But,some have doubt about the reliability of its meteorological information. So how credible is the agency's weather forecasting ?

NMA Meteorological Forecast and Early Warning Directorate Director Asaminew Teshome disagrees on the notion that tends to question the capability of his agency weather forecasting in a strong manner .

"This emanates from the culture the community in using the weather information in daily life and the stakeholders' willingness to translate the information with practical actions could be one reasons."

Of course, weather forecasting will be influenced by various elements of originating from the water bodies and the dry land,he says ,adding that they could pose unpredictable, rainfall, flood or flash flood . " This has nothing to do with the performance of NMA. The phenomenon is always accompanied by uncertainty, what is important is here the divagation from the forecast ones."

As to him, to build certainty in this regard, NMA has been working on human capital development with higher education and development partners. These include training the human capital in local higher education and abroad.

He ,moreover, notes that the nation has been toiling much in equipping all the Eleven Meteorological Branch Offices with high-tech weather technology with high-tech weather technology that gives impetus to analyze weather and dispatching as per their catchment areas.

Capitalizing on these modern technologies, he says NMA has restructured its nationwide branch offices aiming at reducing Disaster Risk from Natural Hazards through Modern Hydromet Services in respective administrative States.

Asaminew also says the move is helping NMA in strengthening the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) to provide better climate services capable in enhancing the adaptive capacity of various parts of the nation.

Therefore, he indicates that the level of making interested practical response among the farmer , pastoral community and other beneficiaries' institutions are progressing well nationwide.

The Agency has incorporating better climate risk management into development policies and strategies that could enhance socio-economic development and improve the well-being of fellow citizens. "We dispatch weather forecasts to pertinent stakeholders through email, letter and mass media on a daily basis ."

However, NMA General Director Sewnet Chekol says the dispatched forecasts are well channeled to the lower community , pastoral regions and areas . "If it had been so, the Ethiopia Somalia and Southern Nations,Nationalities and Peoples states would have been barred."

To the former Water Irrigation and Energy Minister Alemayehu Tegenu ,the move of the Agency is remarkable in actualizing the forecast with the actual happening on the ground.

But, he says : "When we see on the ground, there is real shortage of meteorologists across the country."

Jijiga Meteorological Branch Office Director Zerihun Hailemariam, argues the case in Ethiopia Somalia, the branch office has been effectively dispatching the weather forecasts beforehand to locals by mother tongue, this by itself shows how NMA meteorological service is credible and progressive.

All agree that using flood hazard maps and other tools , daily weather information can help prevent secondary disasters in environments where vulnerability and risk are high.

They further indicates that to enhance the credibility of the country's weather forecasting,it is important to create platforms that would make weather forecast tools and resources friendly to all apart from introducing latest weather technologies across the country.


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