Professor Mansur Matazu, Director General, Nigeria Meteorological Agency, (NiMet) has
said that to tackle the effects of weather and climate change head-on, various bodies have concluded steps to build a support system that provides early warning against threats and creates time for early action.
The African Union Commission, the Regional Economic Communities, and countries through African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD), as well as continental centre, Regional Climate Centres (RCCs) and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) are all part of this strategic partnership that aims to aid the continent.
Matazu made this known at the Climate Policy Dialogue and Inauguration Ceremony of the Continental Multi-Hazard Advisory Centre, Monday in Niamey, Niger Republic where he stressed the urgency of building climate resilience and ensuring sustainable development through mitigating the rising threats of weather and changing climate.
According to him, threats including floods, drought, desertification, heat waves, squally winds, tropical cyclones, among others could be nipped through promoting and supporting Early Actions against vagaries of weather and changing climate, providing hydrometeorological predictions and advisories with sufficient lead times ahead of these events.
Prof. Matazu who chaired the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development, ACMAD Board of Governors, stated the support system when built will be for assessing the State of Climate for Africa, analysing Predictions data, and providing Early Warnings for Early Action as a first line of defence to adapt to climate threats and increase resilience to disasters.
“Given the urgency and importance of climate impact reduction, the AUC, and Partners, with the support of the Italian Development Cooperation are establishing the African Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Early Action System (AU MHEWAS)”.
According to him, the newly inaugurated MHEWAS at the headquarters will be coordinated through the Continental Multi-Hazard Advisory Centre to provide a few days, weeks, and months lead-time (i.e., ahead) advisories and watches on heavy rains and floods, high temperatures and heat waves, droughts, cyclones, and significant storms to the AUC Situation Room to guide Disaster Risk Coordination and Management Actions.
“Africa welcomes and look forward to this centre for advisories and support for warnings at national level as well as well-informed early action and implementation to reduce impacts of disasters”.
He added, “We must and we can put national, regional, continental, UN, and other stakeholders firmly behind Early Warnings for all”.
The essence of the event is to highlight climate variability and trends, summarize main impacts, and assess responses to disasters in 2021 across Africa.
The impacts of Climate Change across the globe in recent decades have been a serious wake up call for Climate Actions across major sectors of our societies and economies as developing countries, most of which are in Africa, have found it difficult to respond adequately to weather and climate induced disasters.