Improving Weather Information Management in East Africa

Capacity development for higher education and research on meteorology, ICT and climate change adaptation.

Project title: Improving weather information management in East Africa for effective service provision through the application of suitable ICTs (WIMEA-ICT)

Background

Weather information is vital for decision making in key economic sectors such as agriculture, disaster management, fishing, energy provision, construction, water resources and public health. However, the national meteorological services in the East African region face several challenges while executing their mandate of managing weather information.

The indigenous and outdated methods of weather predictions currently being used in the region are no longer reliable, especially given increasingly erratic weather patterns related to climate change.

The lack of access to reliable weather information contributes to low agricultural productivity, weather related diseases, delayed delivery times in the construction and energy industry and weather-related accidents such as on Lake Victoria. In addition, the region has experienced weather-related mudslides and floods leading to loss of lives, property, infrastructure and displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.

Strengthening higher education and research on weather information and ICTs in East Africa

The project focuses on strengthening research and teaching at Makerere University in Uganda, in partnership with the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology in Tanzania and the University of Juba in South Sudan. The Norwegian partner is the University of Bergen.

In Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan the available weather information is neither properly analysed nor readily accessible to the various stakeholders. There is an insufficient number of meteorologists and there are very few women in the profession.

In the low income country-based partner institutions, academic staff are being upgraded to Master and PhD level, and curricula is updated to current trends and state of the art techniques in numerical weather predictions, automatic weather stations, weather data repositories and weather information dissemination.

In terms of research, the project contributes to establishing operational Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models for the three countries; creating reliable, accurate and well-formatted weather data repositories; improving the density of the weather station network in the region; improving the weather information dissemination system to present relevant and suitably packaged information to different stakeholders; and research and teaching capacity building in the partnering higher education institutions in the three focus countries.

Ultimately, the project contributes to improving climate change adaptation and food security in the region by strengthening the capacity for higher education and research on weather information management.

Key goals and achievements

Overall goal

Improving the timeliness, accuracy and access to weather information in the East African region through suitable ICTs for increased economic productivity, safety and climate change adaptation

The objectives of the project are

  1. To strengthen the capacity of Makerere, Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology and the University of Juba in the area of weather information management and climate change adaptation by improving numbers of highly-trained academic staff teaching and conducting more rigorous research in related areas.
  2. An active and innovative research group established at Makerere, DIT and University of Juba contributing towards weather information management research within the region
  3. Undergraduate and postgraduate education capacity in the field of weather information management strengthened at Makerere University, DIT and University of Juba.
  4. Gender equity in education and research in the field of weather information management and climate change adaptation
Published 24.06.2013
Last updated 16.02.2015

Total budget

2013-2018: 18 million NOK

Partner institutions

Contact persons for the project

Dr. Julianne Sansa Otim, Chair, Department of Networks, Makerere University Email: sansa@cit.mak.ac.ug

Prof. Dr. Joachim Reuder, Deputy Head of Institute, Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen Email: Joachim.Reuder@gfi.uib.no