UN, NiMet To Enhance Preparedness For Weather Impact On Humanitarian Work

NIMET UNOCHA
L-R: The director-general, Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Prof. Mansur Matazu and the leader, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) and Head of Office for Nigeria, Trond Jensen, at NiMet headquarters, Abuja.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) has expressed interest in working with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) on the weather’s impact on humanitarian work.

This was disclosed when a team from the UN body paid a courtesy visit to the NiMet headquarters.

Speaking about the purpose of their visit, the team leader and Head of Office for Nigeria, Trond Jensen, said he was impressed by the analysis and work that NiMet is doing. The purpose of the visit is to continue its advocacy efforts to enhance the urgency, efficiency, and quality of humanitarian response in the northeast states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe. “One of the things we want to do this year, together with the government institutions that we are working with, is to be better prepared for the rainy season,” he added.

He noted that last year was a national disaster in terms of the extent and impact of the flooding, as well as the damage to infrastructure. Mr. Jensen emphasized their desire to work more closely with NiMet.

“We want to work more closely with you in terms of understanding what might happen this year, compared to last year, and how we can work better, working with you in terms of preparedness, in terms of anticipatory action where your input is critical for us to understand how the inclement weather would impact on humanitarian work,” he said.

In response, the director-general of NiMet, Prof. Mansur Matazu observed that both organisations have a common goal and the convergence of providing early warning for all. He explained that NiMet has achieved a certain level of a leadership role on the continent based on the provision of climate services from co-generation to effective dissemination and getting feedback within the value chain.

Matazu revealed further that NiMet provides a daily weather forecast to Liberia and Sierra Leone as part of the World Meteorological Organization’s VCP programme, which has been ongoing for almost seven years to date.

“We are also implementing the WMO SOFF project. We are peer-reviewing Liberia and Burkina Faso. With Liberia, we are doing that alone, but with Burkina Faso, we are partnering with the Spanish Met Service. We also want to apply for the second stage to peer-review one or two other African states,” he said.

Matazu revealed that by doing some of these projects, NiMet has gained experience to be able to do some of its national mandates while partnering with some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Matazu said NiMet is flexible and willing to work with the UN body and assured that: “if we get details of your target location and elements of interest, we can come up with some products, specifically for your usage and we can get it relayed to you electronically or we can create a segment in our App, NiMet weather App that can be downloaded from the play store,” he assured.

Oluchi Okorafor
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