SWAKOPMUND, Feb. 9 — Namibia is hosting a three-day Regional Association 1 Hydrology and Water Coordination Panel (RA 1-HWCP) meeting in Swakopmund, a coastal city, aimed at giving African countries a platform to share information and discuss hydrological hazards and early warning system disaster preparedness.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Namibia’s Permanent Representative to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Franz Uirab said climate hazards, especially water-related climate hazards, are already affecting billions of people worldwide.
“Disruption in the hydrological cycle gravely threatens food security, livelihoods and ecosystems, causing loss and damage, and mostly affecting those in vulnerable situations. Early warning systems are a tangible way to improve countries’ resilience to these hazards. The need for Preparedness to Respond is the approach that translates early warnings into life-saving actions,” he said.
He added that the meeting is an opportunity for the panel to learn how Namibia has developed the capacity for hydrological monitoring and the innovative technologies used to minimize the vandalism of hydrological stations.
Also speaking at the same event, Ministry of Agriculture Water and Land Reform Executive Director Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata said Africa’s national hydrological and meteorological services are faced with challenges of low capacity to disseminate early warning services and information to mitigate against the impacts of climate change.
“Namibia is currently experiencing flooding in the North-central regions, and one of the challenges we experienced was getting flood data from our monitoring services because most of them were vandalized. Through platforms such as this, Namibia may learn how other African countries are monitoring their flooding and equipment used,” she said.
The meeting is also intended to support advocacy efforts and understanding of the operations of the national hydrological service in Africa and strengthen the collaboration with the national meteorological services.
The participants also include representatives of the 11 member countries of the RA 1-HWCP and WMO Secretariat staff. (Xinhua)