Predicting The Weather

These days rains and other features of the weather are predictable, thanks to modern meteorological developments.

Yesterday Accra hosted an unexpected downpour for most part of the day, causing unquantifiable inconvenience for both individuals and the President who was hosting his Guinean counterpart.

The day was March 6; 57 years after the attainment of our independence as a sovereign state yet regrettably, the downpour, which dwarfed the commemorative event at the Independence Square, could not be predicted.

The inability to predict the downpour was itself suggestive of how far we have lagged behind in terms of development. After all, progress entails, among other things, our ability to use the advances in science to better our lots.

So many years after independence we are still dependent upon rain-fed agriculture when advanced irrigation methods abound for us to tap.

So much money was pumped into yesterday’s event, yet it was virtually washed off – resources et al – the first time we had to suffer an inclement weather on an independence day. We were hard-pushed not to question the efficiency of our own Ghana Meteorological Services Agency (GMSA) who should have alerted us about an impending downpour.

Perhaps to be fair to them, they are under-resourced because officialdom does not find their work too serious to warrant the kind of attention other agencies deserve.

In fact, we have even gathered that they alerted the military about an impending downpour – something which informed the downsizing of the parade procedure. In other words, the inconvenience which featured at the Independence Square could have gone beyond what was witnessed, but for their intervention.

There is no big deal about the prediction of such weather happenings, considering the scientific inroads made so far in the field of meteorology.

We are in a country where incidences of force majeure are rare occurrences, little wonder we have taken things for granted. This is dangerous because in the unlikely event of something happening, we could be taken unawares and the fallouts could be lethal.

In some countries the work and efficiency of meteorological agencies are taken seriously because lapses or otherwise in their operations could differentiate between life and death.

In Ghana the GMSA is rarely heard. Indeed, their occasional weather forecasts in the media are seldom taken seriously.

The importance of the GMSA, besides others, lies in the field of agriculture where farmers can tap information about when to begin planting and engaging in other farming activities.

By this commentary we are taking issues with the authorities for somewhat ignoring the work of the GMSA: under-resourcing them is unacceptable.

Let government resource them to serve Ghanaians adequately so that situations like the one which unfurled at the Independence Square yesterday are obviated.

Above all, an efficient GMSA can contribute immensely towards food and cash crop production.