By Miriam Humbe
Director General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, (NiMet), Prof Sani Abubakar Mashi has said that it is good business for Nigeria to continue to invest in early warnings services on weather useful for safeguarding the environment and averting disasters.
Professor Mashi revealed this in Abuja while addressing journalists at the climax of the events to mark the 2018 World Meteorological Day.
“According to World Bank, for every dollar invested in early warnings services on weather, about 7 dollars is saved from cost of disaster management,” Mashi said.
He explained that more effective service delivery was the reason why NiMet has continued to acquire modern weather observing, monitoring and forecasting infrastructures.
“Notable among these are the Doppler Weather Radar, the Lightning Detector and the Low Level Wind Shear system. Studies have shown that despite the increasing number of disasters, with innovative advancement in such Early Warning Systems, (EWSs) facilities, the number of casualties can be significantly reduced by 10%.
Themed: ‘Weather Ready, Climate Smart’ the D-G said the issue of the environment and natural disasters was of absolute concern raised by global leaders in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report.
“These included extreme weather; biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse; major natural disasters; man-made environmental disasters; and failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation.
“Against the foregoing challenging background, NiMet embarks on regular weather and climate predictions to help the public mitigate the effects of extreme weather events through Early Warning Systems (EWSs).
NiMet’s Seasonal Rainfall Prediction SRP, constitutes a decision support tool for Nigerians and provides critical information to enhance informed decisions.
“It is mainly for planning purposes as it gives insight to the expected rainfall distribution and so provides the necessary advisories to the respective sectors; such as agriculture and food security, water resources management, environment and disaster risk reduction, health, hydropower generation and distribution etc. SRP gives comprehensive information on the onset and cessation of rains, duration or length of growing season, and amount of rains annually; including the day and night temperature for assessing the comfort level etc.
“The Agency has made series of efforts to consistently improve on the lead-time, quality and accuracy of this very vital product. Over the past six years, SRP has gained national and international recognition, especially in water resources and agricultural sectors due to recorded impact by practitioners, such as improvement of the sector’s contribution to national GDP.”