ECA supports Rwanda to improve meteorological & hydrological data systems

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 27th May 2014 (UNECA) - The African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) has shipped a consignment of computer hardware consisting of a server, 20 computers, 5 scanners and 15 data storage devices to the Rwanda Meteorological Agency (RMA) and the Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA). This donation is the first consignment in a batch of equipment that the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) will supply through ACPC to assist the country’s hydrological and meteorological institutions in their efforts to rescue climate data, revamp early warning systems, and improve data management and packaging.

Climate change and variability is a subject of global importance and Rwanda, like other poor African countries, faces challenges in adapting to climate change. Evidently, there are priorities and needs identified concerning data and information systems in which ACPC can provide assistance as this work is within its purview in its engagement with African countries afflicted by climate change impacts. In order to plug gaps in information, data rescue in Rwanda has been identified as an important ingredient for blending of satellite climate data to improve data management. The consignments of the equipment will help the Rwanda National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) agencies in rescuing historical meteorological and hydrological data that will also be used in studies that analyse climate change impacts. More data sets will be available for verification of weather and climate models, and early warning activities related to weather and climate will be improved as a result of an adequate network of weather observation stations and availability of new technologies.

The overall objective of ACPC’s NMHSs improvement project is to increase the quantity and quality of meteorological and hydrological data and information for decision making and policy formulation which can then be used to inform development strategies. In addition to Rwanda, similar projects are well underway in Ethiopia and The Gambia.

To facilitate optimum use of the supplied equipment, ACPC provided training to RMA on map room, data rescue, database development, generation, packaging, early warning and weather forecasting. The center also carried out a climate risk and vulnerability assessment for Rwanda.        

Issued by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)