New Automated Weather Stations to Improve Early Warning in Ethiopia
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Published on 22 October 2010

WFP has donated 20 automated weather stations to assist in weather risk management in Ethiopia.

ADDIS ABABA – The National Meteorological Agency (NMA) this week completed installing 20 automated weather stations donated by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide real-time data for early warning and weather risk management.

“The 20 automated weather stations enhance the existing radio-based real-time data collection in the country, especially in pastoral areas,” said NMA Director General Kidane Assefa. “They will help us to provide better weather and climate services in Ethiopia which is an important input for implementing the government’s Growth and Transformation Plan.”

The stations are worth a total of US$100,000.

NMA will monitor real-time data from pastoral areas sent through the Ethiopian mobile phone network to a server in Addis Ababa every 15 minutes from the automated stations. This will reinforce Ethiopia’s early-warning capacity and ensure prompt and adequate risk management measures.   

The newly-available weather data will also support the development of innovative projects such as weather insurance schemes for farmers and the scale-up of the Productive Safety Net Programme which the Government is implementing jointly with development partners. 

“The automated weather stations are a very important investment for Ethiopia,” said Felix B. F. Gomez, WFP Ethiopia Acting Country Director. “They'll allow us to identify climate risks at an early stage and better protect vulnerable, food-insecure people in rural areas through innovative projects such as weather risk insurance.” 

WFP provides technical support to NMA and will cover the running costs of the weather stations. Ten are in the Somali Region, five in Eastern Oromia and another five in Afar.