VICTORIA FALLS —Delegates to the second session of the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology say member states should have the political will to strengthen climate early-warning systems to reduce disasters in their respective countries.Report by Richard Muponde, Senior Reporter
The proposal was made as the conference entered its second day yesterday, with delegates drawing up proposals aimed at reducing natural disasters resulting from climate change.
Proposals will be presented for consideration when ministers responsible for meteorology meet tomorrow and Friday.
Representatives of 31 countries, including Zimbabwe, are attending the conference which ends on Friday.
“Some countries with more experience in disaster management should share with others and all the work should be done in the framework of national disaster policy and networks. There should be a political will to national disaster reductions,” the delegates said in their proposal.
Since 1990, there have been 132 recoded droughts in sub-Saharan Africa, including the most recent events in the Horn of Africa.
Delegates said Africa was vulnerable to disasters and platforms should be established to manage them.
“We also need human capacity on climate issues and establish channels that would send information to people weekly or monthly.
“We need to educate the media on these issues as we use them to disseminate information, so that we make sure the material reaches people without distortion,” the proposal read.
There were also calls to assist Arabic countries, which were recently hit by protests, to establish new meteorological facilities after they were destroyed during violent clashes.
“Climate service facilities were destroyed. In Libya, everything was destroyed. All the climate database was destroyed in the wave of violence and we should help establish the early-warning systems in these countries.”