HomeLocal NewsMujuru calls for establishment of space meteorological services

Mujuru calls for establishment of space meteorological services

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VICTORIA FALLS — Vice-President Joice Mujuru yesterday urged the  African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (Amcomet) to establish space meteorological services to monitor weather activities to enable member countries to adequately prepare for climate change-induced natural disasters.

Report by Richard Muponde , Senior Reporter

Officially opening the Amcomet conference in the tourist resort town, Mujuru said this would assist the African continent to monitor natural catastrophes such as drought, floods or cyclone attacks.

“I would like to add my voice to the increasing calls for Amcomet to spearhead the establishment of an African Meteorology Space Programme leading to the launch and operation of an African meteorological satellite,” she said.

“With the increasing devastating impact of weather-related disasters due to the accelerating change in climate, the time has come for Africa to join the rest of the world to be able to monitor extreme weather events. These are becoming more severe and costly in terms of life and property. Your ability to provide timely meteorological early warning services and forecasts will save the continent billions of dollars every year.

“I have been advised by Zimbabwe’s permanent representative to World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) that the costs of launching and maintaining the satellite are not astronomical and are miniscule compared to the gains to be made.”

Mujuru urged countries to equip their respective meteorological establishments so that they could adequately provide early warning on disasters than to turn them into “scapegoats” after the devastation.

“Often we turn to our weather authorities only after a calamity such as droughts, floods or tsunami and blame them for their failure to produce accurate forecasts or inability to provide warning. We are blind, most times not deliberately, to the fact that they too have immense problems, chief among them being inadequate resources, technology and equipment for effective weather forecasting, early warning system, research and development,” she said.

Thirty-six countries are represented at the conference which ends today. WMO secretary-general Michel Jarraud hailed Zimbabwe for collaborating with his organisation on climate issues since 1981.

Meanwhile, Transport and Communications minister Nicholas Goche yesterday assumed the chairmanship of the Amcomet bureau.

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