By Gabriel Agbeja
The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, on Tuesday in Abuja commended World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) for establishing Hydrological Status and Outlook System (HydroSOS) towards mitigating effect of climate change.
Sirika gave the commendation at the opening ceremony of a 2-day Workshop on HydroSOS, hosted by Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet), in collaboration with the Nigerian Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA).
The workshop enjoyed the support of the United Kingdom Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH) and World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
According to the minister, the workshop will proffer solutions from accurate data collections to global challenges associated with Hydro-Meteorological hazard (risks), especially as it related to Africa and particularly Nigeria.
Sirika said deficiency of information could be linked to insufficient local –scale data, a lack of regional to global coherence in hydrological information modelling systems and limited dialogue between the multitudes of actors.
Sirika said water managers and stakeholders could not properly assess the availability of water resources on different spatio-temporal scales due to shortfalls.
“Thus, there is need to have hydrological information and products that are impact-based, demand-driven and user specific.
“ I must commend the WMO for their initiative in developing a framework for the production and sharing of water-related information and products with a unified assessment and prediction system through HydroSOS programme.
“As you embark on important task of producing framework for providing hydrological information that are user- specific, kindly consider it your contribution to continued survival of humanity and socio-economic development of Africa and the world at large,“ he said.
Sirika expressed optimism that the outome of the meeting would provide policymakers and all the stakeholders with products and services needed to properly address water related challenges on different spatio-temporal scales in Africa and beyond.
NiMet Director General, Prof. Mansur Matazu, said the water-related hazard yearly affected millions of people globally and caused damages to properties worth billions of dollars.
According to Matazu, it is expected that water-associated risks are going to intensify in the coming years as the full weight of climate change begin to bear on Earth.
“In Africa, water related hazards such as flood, drought, among others, have become major causes of flood insecurity, strains on livelihoods, health risks and conflicts in many parts of the continent.
“ WMO has taken up the task of designing hydrological information products targeted to serve the needs of different sectors through the HydroSOS project, anchored by the UKCEN with the support of its member nations, “ he said.
Contributing, Dr Bernand Gomz, WMO Representative for North, Central and West Africa, said the workshop would aim at serving the socio-economic needs of different water-related sectors by being closer to adequately meeting the hydro-meteorological information.
He said HydroSOS currently focused on collecting methodologies from products on status and outlooks to provide best practices to WMO Member countries.
Prof. Alan Jenklin, Deputy Director, UKCEH , Oxon, UK , said HydroSOS harnessed political support for adequate funding for data collection, hydrological information, and capacity building operation in National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs).
According to him, the scope of the HydroSOS includes global and regional hydrological centre setup, national and regional implementation, demonstration projects and large-scale service integration.
The deputy director said experts would be welcomed to help link existing tools methods based on local and regional specifications.
“Experts from national and regional organisations who can help with capacity and needs assessments and development of the implementation plans.
“Case studies on assessing the skill of hydrological modes in specific countries are sought. Applying HydroSOS methodologies to river basins,“ he said. (wwwnannews.ng)
Edited by Idris Abdulrahman