nicholas goche 12-07-11 ed.jpgAfrican countries have been challenged to channel more resources towards improving the Meteorological Observing System in order to provide timely and early warning services that will save the continent billions of dollars.

The Minister of Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development, Cde Nicholas Goche, said considering the increasing devastating impacts of weather-related disasters due to climate change, time has now come for African countries to be able to monitor extreme weather events which are becoming more severe and costly in terms of life and property.

Cde Goche was speaking while officially opening the World Meteorological Organisation Regional Association Management Meeting in Victoria Falls. 

He said it is high time African countries stopped relying on other continents to develop meteorological products for them.

“You need to mobilise resources fast. There is no time. We do not have a choice. However it is you, not World Meteorological Organisation, not donors and certainly your ministers, who should champion this cause,” said Minister Goche.

World Meteorological Organisation representative, Dr. Robert Masters, called for a speedy implementation of the Strategic Plan which seeks to reduce climate variability and change, their impacts as well as natural disasters among other issues.

He said, “We cannot wait for the crisis to conclude before we re-affirm the need to support investments in sustainable development and the protection of life and property.”

The two-day conference which attracted weather experts from around the continent focused on programmes that urgently need to be implemented before November 2012, with special emphasis on the establishments and certification of Meteorological Departments in line with international standards.

Meanwhile, government is in the process of buying Automatic Weather Observing Systems to be installed at all airports at a cost of $2million in an effort to provide accurate weather information to all aircrafts that fly in the countrys airspace.