WFP Contributes Automatic Weather Stations In Support Of Agriculture

Published on 25 June 2012

KAMPALA – Good news for farmers and weather watchers: the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today that it is giving 14 automatic weather stations to the Ministry of Water and Environment. The high-tech sets, which come in boxes and are easily assembled, conduct an array of weather monitoring and forecasting tasks. Collected data will be available to both the Government and the private sector.

WFP has provided 12 automatic stations in the past three years, which are already in use in the Karamoja and Teso regions, to help farmers and food producers cope with increasingly unpredictable weather.

“This contribution is being made in support of the National Development Plan which calls for the overhaul and automation of meteorological instruments in Uganda,” says WFP Country Director Sory Ouane. “This should lead to more timely and reliable weather forecasts which will be particularly useful to farmers for planting and harvesting. Ultimately, it should help address some of the root causes of hunger and food insecurity.”

The portable weather stations – valued at nearly Uganda Shillings 500 million – will provide data required for improved agricultural production as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation.

“The new automatic weather stations will make it easier to assist Uganda’s rain-driven agricultural production, the main source of livelihood for 80 percent of the population,” says Commissioner for Meteorology and Permanent Representative of Uganda with the World Meteorological Organization, Michael Nkalubo. “They will also enable Uganda to play a sustained role in contributing to the exchange of weather data globally.”

Automatic weather stations are linked to a central computer through a wireless network. They are able to give reliable rainfall, temperature and other data necessary for monitoring the weather and climate and making forecasts. Since they are automated, they help minimize costs for data collection.
___________________________

For more details, please contact:

Milton Waiswa, Meteorological Department, +256.777.216.000 or +256.712.287.224

Lydia Wamala, WFP Kampala, Tel: +256.312.242.000 or (cell): +256.772.778.037 lydia.wamala@wfp.org