Gambia hosts Ecowas conference on metrology


Underway at Kairaba Beach Hotel, the eleventh edition of the meeting gathered experts and directors of national metrological and hydrological services in the subregion. It’s expected to validate the region’s Meteorological Action Programme, review the implementation of the recommendations of the 10th session of the Committee held in Abidjan, exchange and discuss communication strategy on weather and climate information.

Max Axi Gye, the minister of Gambia’s fisheries and water resources ministry, said: “Consciously or not, everyone benefits from the weather and climate, but equally, everyone is affected by their extremes. Weather and climate constitute resources and hazards but most often, knowledge of future weather and climate events come too late for stakeholders to harness the opportunities or reduce the associated risks effectively. The extremes of weather and climate cause significant socio-economic losses every year, and surprisingly, efforts to know when the next shock will occur require significant strengthening. More than seventy percent of the region’s inhabitants depend on rain-fed agriculture for their food and other needs, and it is common knowledge that rainfall distribution in the region is highly variable in space and in time.”

Mr Gye continued: “Initiating the global framework for climate services (GFCS) by the world’s governments, the world meteorological organisation and partners and the subsequent establishment of the intergovernmental board on climate services (IBCS) are clear proof that more than ever before, all sectors of human endeavor, in all countries, require climate services to excel, or to reduce losses due to hazardous climate conditions.”


Speaking earlier, Dr. Johnson Boanuh, director of environment, Ecowas Commission, said: “In view of the priorities of Ecowas, that is to say, the management of agriculture, transport, telecommunications, energy and water resources, it is clear that the meterological services can and should play an important role in the integration and strengthening of economic social activities in the sub-region. The application of meterological information to agriculture, livestock, fisheries and forestry management has been recognised throughout the world because knowledge of the climate and weather contributes to monitoring crops and estimating crop yields, fishing as well as monitoring grazing lands.”

For his part, Dr Joseph ukabana, director of World Metrology Organisation Regional Office for Africa and least developing countries based in Kenya, said recent occurrences of floods, droughts and other severe weather and extreme climate events could well be indications of a changing climate. 

“The future cost of inaction or procrastination to introduce adaptation measures against the vagaries of weather and climate could well exceed, by far, the cost of timely action adding that measures contemplated in mitigation and amelioration of adverse impacts of the changing climate should therefore, be intensified,” he added.


By Sainey Marenah