The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO) in The Netherlands, to develop a robust network of Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) across the country.
NiMet’s Director-General, Prof. Sani Mashi, said this in in a statement issued by Mrs Tessy Ushie, the agency’s Assistant General Manager, in Abuja.
Mashi said that the MoU was in furtherance of the agency’s determination to provide efficient and reliable meteorological information to various sectors of the economy.
He said the collaboration, which would be for five years in the first instance, was also aimed at advancing TAHMO’s vision to improve sub-Saharan Africa’s capacity for hydro-meteorological monitoring.
He added that the partnership would enhance NiMet’s goal of one weather station per 100 kms., in compliance with the standard stipulated by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
According to him, the project takes off immediately with the delivery of 100 AWS by TAHMO to be installed across the country at no cost to the agency.
‘‘The subsequent implementation of the project will be through a joint funding arrangement to achieve the goal of 1,000 AWS. Another important aspect of the partnership is that both parties will jointly utilise the revenue generated from the sale of data under the project, to maintain and grow the network of AWS in pursuance of TAHMO’s mission for sub-Saharan Africa.’’
NiMet boss emphasised that the project would support the agency’s education and research partners through the provision of educational materials on climate and hydrology for schools located close to the AWS.
He commended the TAHMO team for initiating the partnership and enjoined both parties to put their best efforts and act in good faith, to ensure the full realisation of the objectives of the MoU.
Ms. Els Veenhoven, the coordinator of TAHMO, disclosed that the organisation was active in 20 countries in Africa with meteorological services aimed at developing a vast network of weather stations across the continent.
According to her, TAHMO will be working with NiMet to increase the density of ground observation stations to help improve local weather forecasts.
‘‘This will be transformed into useful information for government, researchers, mining industries, oil and gas and many others by NiMet with the support of TAHMO,’’ she said.