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May 27, 2024

NiMet, Partners to Enhance Regional Seasonal Forecasting

The Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Professor Charles Anosike, emphasized that the Regional Forum Workshop’s outcomes on Seasonal Forecasts of Agro-hydro-climatic characteristics of the rainy season for the Sudanian and Sahelian zones of West Africa and the Sahel (PRESASS) will enhance regional seasonal forecasting.

He lauded AGRHYMET and ACMAD for their continuous support in maintaining the Regional Climate Outlook since 1998.

Professor Anosike, speaking at the opening of the 2024 Edition of the Regional workshop in Abuja on Monday, highlighted the importance of this year’s Regional Climate Outlook. He noted, “Despite significant advancements and investments in climate science and operational forecasting over the past century, weather and climate events continue to have a profound impact on our region. Weather-related hazards such as early or late onset of rainy seasons, droughts, floods, and extended periods of extreme temperatures are major contributors to disaster losses.”.

He reminded the participants that; “The Nigerian Meteorological Agency released NiMet’s Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) on February 20th 2024, which continues to serve as an Early Warning tool to ensure improved preparedness for climate disasters, protect lives, and critical national assets toward sustainable economic development.

“PRESSAS provides the platform for a unified regional seasonal climate outlook and reinforces our determination to collaboratively address climate disasters and accelerate climate action. We must continue to work together to strengthen the PRESSAS project as the region looks forward to this vital early warning tool every year”.

In his goodwill message, the representative of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), for West, Central and North Africa, Dr Benard Gomez who was represented by Dr. Rowland Abah said that, “Within the 50 years of existence of AGRHYMET, there has been greater understanding of the climate risk in the Sahel, West Africa and Africa, and how it affects food security and other associated climate -sensitive livelihood activities. National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in these regions have also benefited immensely from forecasts and training activities provided by AGRHYMET”.

In his remarks, the Director General of Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, (NIHSA), Engineer Clement Nze, observed that the workshop, “Is a testament to our commitment to use scientific methods and processes to tackle hydro-climatic challenges of this day and age”. He also said that the PRESASS when scaled down to national level, often agrees with the predictions made and serves as the complementary tool for disaster risk management.

Dr. Abdul Ali, the Director General of AGRHYMET, expressed gratitude to the federal government, NiMet, and NiHSA in his goodwill remarks. He emphasized the importance of timely information for decision makers and farmers to effectively plan for the upcoming rainy season.

Dr. Ali issued a warning based on data from the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) and its partners, stating that over 50 million people could face a food crisis in the region during the lean season from June to August if appropriate measures are not implemented.

The event, which convenes representatives from 16 countries in the West African region, is being held in Abuja and is scheduled from the 22nd to the 26th of April, 2024.

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