Tuesday, February 27, 2024

WMD: NiMet Restates Commitment To Monitor Weather, Climate Change

The director-general, Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Prof. Mansur Matazu.
The director-general, Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Prof. Mansur Matazu.

The director-general, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Prof. Mansur Matazu, has reassured citizens of the agency’s commitment to monitor weather and climate change through meteorological predictions in order to ensure the safety of lives and property.

Matazu, who was represented by the agency’s director of research and training, Prof. Effiom Oku, disclosed this during the World Meteorological Day celebration, themed “The future of weather, climate and water across generations”. The celebration was held in Abuja on March 23, 2023. Matazu added that society and science have evolved over the years, allowing technology to modernize activities more efficiently.

He said that no country is immune to the effect of climate change, and as an organization with 187 Member States and six Member Territories, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) requires that all members operate with a common vision and goals.

“Climate change affects all countries, regardless of whether they emit greenhouse gases or not,” explaining further that “the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) promotes cooperation among its 187 member states and 6 territories to achieve common goals. World Meteorological Day allows members to converge ideas and resources to address climate-related issues. The day highlights the vital role of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHss), such as Nigeria’s NiMet and NIHSA, in ensuring public safety and well-being. Celebrations take place globally”.

He emphasised the importance of cooperation at the core of WMO’s existence, and how the WMO requires member countries to converge ideas and resources and align in one common thematic area. NiMet has placed special importance on future generations by working with young minds in the country.

“NiMet has signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) with several universities in Nigeria to promote the science of meteorology within academic institutions at the tertiary level. To support national and regional development, NiMet continues to render services in support of aviation, agriculture, construction, tourism, defence, water resources management, telecommunications, environment and communications.”

The WMO representative, Dr. Roland Abah – represented by WMO’s representative in North, Central and West Africa, Dr. Bernard Gomez – said that rapid scientific and technological advances have greatly improved the accuracy of weather forecasts and life-saving early warnings. The WMO anniversary also serves as a reminder of our changing climate.

“Our weather is warmer and more acidic and sea levels have risen. Cyclone Freddy in southern Africa, which claimed over 200 lives and caused significant damage to property, is a stark reminder of the threat from the climate system.

“In 2022, Nigeria lost over 600 lives due to unprecedented flooding.”

He said that the WMO is working closely with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), while waiting for others to join the initiative.

“The National Meteorological and Hydrological Services should follow suit and strive to establish strong relations with relevant national institutions, civil society organisations and other stakeholders.

“I am aware that NiMet has done well in developing business ventures with partners, but the type of partnership required to commit resources for humanitarian success in the Early Warning for All initiative needs to be addressed. Therefore, I call on potential partners to come forward and claim their space in this laudable initiative,” he said.

He stated that the rate of change is accelerating and that urgent action is needed now to slash emissions to ensure future generations survive and thrive.

Oluchi Okorafor
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