TANZANIA Meteorological Authority (TMA), in collaboration with national meteorological services from Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda as well as development partners are working to improve climate resilience in Lake Victoria.
Through a project dubbed; “High Impact Weather Lake System (HIGHWAY), the partners focus on improved, accurate early warning system, which is co-produced between scientists and users, to prevent deaths and damage due to severe convection and strong winds in the largest fresh water body in Africa.
The Acting Director General of TMA, Dr. Ladislaus Chang’a, said the HIGHWAY project aims to establish a Regional Early Warning System (EWS), for the East Africa region by working through mandated institutions from the international, regional and national level.
“Despite the fact that climate information products and services are readily available, climate product generation, transmissions and sharing are still a challenge within the Lake Victoria basin.
“These were caused by inadequate early warning system, and limited integration between producers and users to develop innovative, accurate tailor-made early warning services products” Dr Chang’a told participants at an event to create awareness in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
Apart from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, the project brings together the United States’ National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). It is managed by World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and funded by the UK Department for International Development (DfID).
Dr Chang’a said the project has come at the right time given the impact of increased severe weather events on Lake Victoria which affects the economy of people living along the basin.
“Extreme events such as severe convection and strong winds have impacted the availability of fish catch and increased marine accidents and therefore affecting people’s livelihoods.
“These impacts are of great a concern to the national economy, hence the need for collaboration between all stakeholders in climate service provision to improve service delivery,” he explained.