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DWR, community radios receive agro-met and studio equipment through FAO

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The Assistant FAO Representative, Dr. Mustapha Ceesay handed over essential agrometeorological tools and radio equipment to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) on Thursday, 24 August 2023 on behalf of the FAO Representation.  The equipment valued at 5.2 million dalasis was acquired through the Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change Project (AACCP).  DWR will use the equipment for data monitoring efforts and to empowering five community radio stations in the project’s intervention areas of NBR, CRR as well as URR to effectively disseminate critical weather-related information to local communities.

“Extreme weather and climate events such as severe droughts, floods and temperature shocks impede sustainable farming development and contribute to the vulnerability of farming families as well as rural communities. Building national capacity for climate services is critical for securing the national food systems under a changing climate,” said Dr. Ceesay

The equipment include class a evaporation pans, digital thermometers, cup counters, calibrated totalizing anemometers, Campbell Stokes sunshine recorders, Digital Mixers, microphones and studio speakers. The agro-met tools will benefit resource-poor upland farmers and communities improve natural and climate related disaster risk readiness.

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 “Farmers urgently need weather and climate information for operational decision-making and production planning. Positive results have been achieved when weather and climate information are made available to farmers and the public domain in a timely and efficient manner. This increase farm information is helping agricultural crop yields and reducing risks and risk associated costs emanating from prolonged dry spells, droughts, floods, and other climate change induced disasters.”

The Director of Water Resources, Lamin Mai Touray received the equipment, he noted that the equipment will ensure timely release of weather forecasts and early warning bulletins to the public and empower farmers. 

“With the increasing impact of climate change in The Gambia, leading to more severe weather, along with shorter and irregular rainy seasons. The importance of providing timely and accurate weather and climate data is critical for all Gambians, so that we can plant our crops at the best time, to prepare for heavy rains and droughts, as well as to manage high temperatures and humidity that can cause harm to our most vulnerable.”

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Specialized agro-met tools with the expansive reach of community radio networks holds the potential to provide invaluable weather updates, critical data, amplify resilience and promote better production and better lives.

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