Accra, May, 19, GNA – A day’s grand forum on Seasonal Weather Forecast for the Saduna and Sahelian rainfall season, ended in Accra on Friday.
The forum, which was preceded by a four day pre-forum, was participated by weather experts from 18 countries within West Africa, Chad and Cameroun, as well as representatives from the UNDP and Plan Ghana.
Mr George Andah, Deputy Minister of Communication, said meteorological services played an important role in the socio-economic development of any nation.
He commended the forum for paying attention to disaster and risk management, which formed a crucial component of meteorological services.
The Deputy Minister said Sub-Saharan Africa, was considered as most vulnerable to climate change, because its ecology was characterised by infractions, such as the depletion of natural resources like forests, the building on water ways, which cause flooding and erosion, amongst others.
Mr Andah noted that experts had predicted, that ‘our part of the world’, could soon be affected by droughts and floods, if appropriate interventions were not made.
He said there was therefore the need for scientific knowledge on how to manage the situation.
The Deputy Minister said currently, the government sought to achieve food sustainability, which was crucial to socio-economic growth, through improved agricultural practices.
He said government programs in the pipe-line for example, which aimed at providing each farming community with an irrigation dam, was typical of such intended improvement in the agricultural sector.
The Deputy Minister noted that accurate weather predictions in areas that were very relevant to the agricultural sector, were thus very important, and it was worth every effort to ensure efficient meteorological services.
Mr Andah encouraged the regular training of staff, in order to ensure accurate forecasting, which would result in quality decision making, and in the long run, socio- economic progress.
He also said it was necessary that modern ways of passing on information concerning the weather, such as the various forms of social media, were utilised for improved results.
Group Captain Komla, Director General of the Ghana Meteorological Agency, said the forum had been highly beneficial, because it drew experts from West Africa, for knowledge sharing.
He said the regional meetings had resulted in improved forecasts over the years.
From 1998, experts in meteorology and climatology have been meeting annually to forecast for the West African Sub-region.
This begun when it was realised that efforts by individual countries needed to be complimented by the regional impact.
By Robert Anane/Julius Satsi, GNA