The Mauritius Meteorological Services (MMS), and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed yesterday, at Le Labourdonnais Hotel in Port Louis, a Record of Discussion which pertains to talks on improving the Meteorological Radar System in Mauritius.
The Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr Masahisa Sato, and other personalities were present at the event.
The signatories were the Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mrs S. Samynaden, and the Resident Representative of JICA Madagascar Office, Mr Hironobu Murakami.
In a statement, Minister Sinatambou expressed gratitude to the Government of Japan for its commitment, dedication and support to the Government of Mauritius. It is necessary for both countries to deepen the existing bilateral ties and identify new areas of cooperation, he highlighted.
For his part, the Japanese State Minister, Mr Sato, pointed out that the project for the improvement of the Meteorological Radar System will enhance the MMS's autonomy, contribute to better general weather forecasting, enhance people's life and also address the specific challenges posed by extreme weather events, given that Mauritius is prone to changing climatic conditions. The Government of Japan will fully extend its support to Mauritius in upcoming meteorological projects, he said.
It is recalled that the JICA and the Mauritian Government signed an agreement in June 2013 for a non-refundable grant of 1.34 billion Japanese Yen, equivalent to
Rs 387 million for the acquisition and installation of an "S-Band Doppler Solid State Radar" and the construction of a new tower at Trou-aux-Cerfs.
The Japanese Government, with a view to maximise the result of this grant project, is committed, through JICA, to strengthen its support to the MMS. This assistance is extended via a technical-related cooperation project aimed at providing technical training as well as technology transfer for the operation and maintenance of the Doppler radar.
The project for enhancing Meteorological Observation, Weather Forecasting and Warning Capabilities is expected to start in April 2019. It has as objective to enhance the dissemination of weather information and actionable warnings so as to reach disaster-related organisations and the population in a timely manner.
The S-Band Doppler Solid State Radar Project
The S-Band Doppler Solid State Radar Project consists of two phases, the acquisition and installation of the "S-Band Doppler Solid State Radar" as well as the construction of a new tower at Trou aux Cerfs which will house the new Radar and its communication systems.
The construction of the Radar Tower is expected to be fully completed by the end of August 2018. As at 31 July 2018, 50% of the equipment has been installed and is expected to be completed in September 2018. Calibration of the radar will begin in November 2018 and may continue until February 2019.