By Oscar Nkala
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has embarked on a project aimed at strengthening the gathering and dissemination of weather information to promote climate change resilience among smallholder farmers in Liberia.
In a statement, the UNDP said working with the Liberian government, it has set up 11 automatic weather stations (AWS), 6 agro-meteorology stations, a lightning detection system, hydrological early warning system.
The project, which includes the supply of software for integrated water resource management, is a component of the UNDP Climate Information for Resilient Development in Africa (CIRDA) programme. It is funded through the Global Environment Facility Least Developed Countries Fund (GEF-LDCF).
Apart from the stations, a publicly accessible information website has been set up to gather and publish hourly and 10-day weather forecasts for all counties in Liberia.
“Looking beyond typical weather monitoring systems, the government has entered into unique public-private partnerships with the US-based climate services provider Earth Networks and national mobile provider Orange Telecommunication Company to build and service its lightning detection system.
“This system provides a real-time cloud-based platform to capture, analyse and distribute weather information gathered through the AWS – an inexpensive and easy-to-deploy technology that captures data about everything from lightning, rainfall, wind direction and speed, to temperature and humidity,” the UNDP said.
The UNDP said decision makers in Liberia will use the new weather information gathering and dissemination capabilities to improve adaptation plans and make evidence-based decisions on policy and budget issues.