Hydro-met Observations, Early warning and Climate Information Dissemination Training in Mogadishu
Since FAO SWALIM’s establishment in 2002, integrated capacity development has been an essential part of its activities, strengthening the capacity of its staff as well as the Somali institutions. To improve the value and quality of data from the hydro-metric networks in south and Central Somalia, a total of nine participants drawn from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Federal Republic of Somalia and SWALIM River gauge readers from key monitoring stations along Shabelle Rivers (Belet Weyne, Mahaday-wayne and Jowhar) participated in a training that took place in Mogadishu between 13th – 16th August 2018. The training aimed to improve the capacity of the gauge readers in carrying out the tasks of collecting, processing and transmitting precipitation, River water level data and other hydro-meteorological information from their respective stations.
The training was comprehensive and covered a wide range of themes such as Early warning systems, procedures for data collection, maintenance of the weather stations, rain gauge installation and transmission of data. During the training, the participants had an opportunity to experience several knowledge sharing tools, including a series of interactive technical sessions showcasing good practices and working groups. The training was a follow up to previous trainings for the gauge readers and involved a lot of practical sessions in Mogadishu for maximum ex¬posure and hands on practice. The practical exercises were carried out at the Somali National University in Mogadishu where FAO-SWALIM has installed automatic weather station in 2016.
It is worthy to note that one of the most key systems established by SWALIM is the hydro-meteorological monitoring networks in Somalia. Currently, there are over 120 climate stations and 8 river flow data collection sites throughout Somalia. Data collected from all these stations have been very useful for early warning, floods and drought monitoring and support to agricultural and development activity planning. The data is also used in a wide range of applications including policy development, project design and implementation, learning and researches.
On the other hand, SWALIM’s major partner for climate data collection in Somalia is the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation. The rain gauge readers report to the data center financed by FAO-SWALIM within the MoAI on a daily basis sharing various weather parameters such as amount of rainfall, temperature levels, wind speed among others. The data is then analysed by the data center staff with the help of the SWALIM Liaison office staff in Mogadishu. The results are used to produce monthly rainfall data and the weath¬er bulletin and are shared with stakeholders. After the transfer of SWALIM activities to the Somali authorities it is expected that the trained gauge readers will take a lead role in training other ministry staff in the monitoring systems.
Article by: Abdulkadir Gure
Water Resources Officer