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Act on weather alert before disaster strikes, TMA

END-USERS of weather reports in various sectors of the economy in the country have been advised to hold-fast to ‘early warning for early actions’ course of action to prevent damages caused by natural disasters.

The Director General of Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA), Dr Agnes Kijazi, sounded the warning in Dar es Salaam yesterday during a workshop with stakeholders who are end-users of weather reports in the marine sector.

Participants at the gathering which are normally organised in a span of two years to share experiences between the producer and consumers of weather forecasts were drawn from marine transport and fishing communities.

Also present were stakeholders from state-owned corporations from both Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, namely the Tanzania Shipping Agencies Corporation (TASAC), Zanzibar Maritime Authority (ZMA), Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and Zanzibar Ports Corporation (ZPC).

“We have been working closely to ensure that the communication system and dissemination of weather forecasts reach the consumers on time. The earlier we take time to prevent looming disasters the better to avoid devastating destruction,” the country’s top meteorologist emphasised.

Adding; “The TMA will take into account all recommendations from stakeholders during this workshop for improvement of our services.”

Dr Kijazi informed delegates at the gathering that TMA is mandated by the law to provide weather services in both Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, including the Indian Ocean as well as all major lakes namely Tanganyika, Victoria and Nyasa.

“The government has supported TMA by enabling it to expand the network of weather forecasting equipment and radar systems which have enabled the agency to improve its services in the marine sector,” she explained.

Dr Kijazi urged the participants to present their inputs towards formulation of the Marine Meteorological Information System (MMIS) to which the weather agency is finalising.

The TMA boss noted further that the agency was working closely with TASAC in strengthening the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) for international ships sailing in Tanzanian waters.

The Tanzanian weather agency works closely with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as well as the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organisation-Indian Ocean Commission (UNESCO-IOC), among other global agencies.

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Author: ALVAR MWAKYUSA

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