The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) has requested support from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) to help it execute a multi-national project that involves several countries, including Nigeria.
The senior researcher at IWMI, Dr. Sander Zwart made this known when he visited NiMet headquarters with a delegation from the institute.
“We have this project coming up, the CLiM O, led by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). The goal is to assist member states of the Niger Basin Authority to be more climate-resilient and, of course, Nigeria is part of the Niger Basin,” he explained.
Zwart explained that based on information obtained online and through consultations, his organisation discovered that flood and drought are major challenges, especially after last year’s flood. As a result, activities have been developed to ensure that people are better prepared for floods now and in the future.
He revealed that to achieve this, four components – hydrological modelling, flood forecasting, data sharing and underground actions that involve how people can adapt to floods – have been proposed for the project and, seeing as the institute would drive the project, it is keen to have NiMet’s input.
In his response, the director of weather forecasting services, Engr. Mailadi Yusuf, who represented the director-general, assured the visitors of NiMet’s support, adding that NiMet is in close collaboration with Federal and state ministries of water resources where the lead sister agency that develops the Annual Flood Outlook (NiHSA) for the country is resident.
He disclosed that apart from predicting water availability for farming activities (onset of rain, duration and amount expected) NiMet would engage water users across the country in dry season (irrigation) farming activities by delivering and training them on the use of the seasonal climate prediction for optimal harvest outputs.
When fully implemented, the CLIM O project will support the member states of the Niger Basin Authority in strengthening transboundary governance of water resources, adaptation and mitigation of the impact of climate change. The IWMI would lead the design and implementation of the project in the Benue River Basin.